Maybe it’s a midlife crisis…maybe it’s the mid winter blahs…maybe it’s the job search…maybe it’s the sinus infection…maybe I’m a whiner…

Maybe, too, it’s self-analysis paralysis.

The question of happiness keeps coming up.

The world is fast filling up with people. 6.5 billion is the next milestone. And, while the rate of growth may have slowed, it IS still growing.

War, pestilence, plague, and death continue to ride their horses.

Political idiocy gets a headline every day. And, our tolerance for the idiocy continues to increase. “I’m the guy that pulled the trigger.” “Great job, Brownie!”

The stories from the Olympics that seem to get the higher amount of attention are those of low ratings, dismal performances by pre-event favorites, arguments amongst the speed skaters and drug raids by the Italian police.

And, cartoons are causing riots…

There are lots more examples…this is by no means the definitive list…

So, with everything going on in the world, are we truly happy?

Yes, career advancement and the life changing events of engagement, marriage, child birth and bowling a 300 game are all great things. They make us happy. But, are these things and events strong enough to continually and affectively cancel out all of the consistent negative back chatter.

The “cycle of life” phrase explains a never-ending birth, death and rebirth journey. But, does the cycle of life ever improve? Or is it really just a case of humanity standing in one place or spinning its figurative wheels?

Along comes the Pew Report, and it says:

So, this “question of happiness”…this “sense” and “feeling” of unhappiness? is nothing more than a phase, right?…or maybe chemical?…or because of the job uncertainty?

What about living in the sunbelt, voting republican, staying married and going to church every week? Go read the survey link, if you haven’t yet. Then the question will make sense.

So, what about the job search? What about just chucking the career and looking for something to do that would provide true happiness? Or, what about keeping the career and getting the big house and sending the kids to a nice college?

What is it that defines us now, in this century? Men of this generation are no longer able to just put in time at the office and expect to feel fulfilled. Although, in the defense of the men of the last two generations, when asked they always say they wish they had spent more time with their kids. Career is no longer enough, though. Being a parent means involvement.

Yes, I know this is borderline incoherent rambling. Internal debate doesn’t necessarily flow in a neat little order. And, if you’re still here, you like watching train wrecks.

There are multiple problems with chucking the career.

Never mind what people would say (he’s a bum). But, what about security and retirement (that bum can’t retire until age 85)? What about health care (that bum is sick). What about the attitudes of the kids when they become teenagers (daddy is a bum)? What about boredom (being a bum sure is boring)?

And, while Hugh says:

Believing in yourself is sometimes the hardest thing to do.

And, the power and prestige and money of the high flying career is a powerful drug.

Was I running a company? Am I recovering from cancer? No on both counts. There’s no real drama here. There’s nothing unique or special here. And, it’s doubtful there’ll be a grand epiphany worthy of the hollywood treatment. This is the stuff with which everyone, I believe, struggles. It’s elemental. But, does anyone ever find the answer?

The hippies of the last generation (yes, that rant again) that chucked the rat race did not in so doing make a lasting impact. It may have made for good stories when they did it…but, it didn’t take long before the bills came due and the quest for security began. And for those few that did make the stand and then stuck to their principles, did it make a difference in the grand scheme of things? The issues of 1970 exist today too.

Yes, living well is the best revenge. Yes, working on a noble pursuit would (in theory) be better. But, are the people working the soup kitchens truly madly deeply happy? Are the Red Cross volunteers giddy from a soulful level of positive karma? Are the people in the world who are trying to save the world walking through their life journey with rainbows and moonbeams and shooting stars…in other words, poetry…in their path?

No good deed goes unpunished.

And, when I say happy, I don’t mean – “I get credit for doing this thing, so I’m happy”…I mean instead, “Because I do this thing, I’m happy”.

So, then Hamel hits me with this statement:

Only in questions, does one find answers. Stop asking, and stop learning. Stop questioning one’s own knowledge and faith and direction, and become a rock, solid and settled, unmoving and unmoved.

I don’t want to be an unmoving rock. But, I do want to be solid and confident and steady. Yes, I know “no man is an island”. But, I do want to be one of the people in the world that appears to have it figured out MOST OF THE TIME.

So, what to do?

In truth, I’m always a little restless. I’m a nomad at heart. I get the wanderlust. It’s always time to Ramble On. It’s my mercurial gemini nature at fault, I guess. To now, I have always moved every couple of years. The new residence or job or city provided the necessary novelty. Then, with family came more novelty. (Now, before anyone gets concerned, there’s no problem in the family department…I’m not nomading away from them) Today, it just seems to be that the job work career don’t make me happy…they don’t cancel out the “negative voices”.

And, this is the curse of Gen X & Y. The life uncertain…

Like I said, incoherent rambling.