02/18/2008: "Have an Average Day"
There is a brief but uplifting article in the Utne Reader titledHave an Average Day. This man was looking for clues on how to prevent suicidal behavior in teens by reading their suicide notes and he came to believe that:
"...the enemy of happiness is the curse of exceptionailty. When everyone is trying to be exceptional, nearly everyone fails because the exceptional becomes commonplace, and those few who do succeed feel isolated and estranged from their peers. We’re left with a world in which a few people feel envied, misunderstood, and alone, while thousands of others feel like failures for not being good, special, rich, or happy enough."
He goes on to talk about how real happiness is derived from the common pleasures of an average day. I agree wholeheartedly with the premis of this article. I used to feel a lot of pressure to succeed at all costs. I always thought from a very early age that I was going to be very famous one day and everyday that went by without that happening, I felt more and more terrible. I'm happy to say I haven't felt that in a long time. Maybe because I appreciate all the things I wouldn't have if my early dreams of fame and fortune were a reality.
For one thing, a sweetie who who made me this cute little cloud of hearts using a plasma cutter in his welding class (since he was in class all night on Valentines Day).
The article also had a side bar that talked about all the things you could accomplish in a year if you only put in an average amount of effort on a daily basis (Mon-Fri). It was pretty impressive! I think in some ways the article is what encouraged me to start painting again this weekend. The knowledge that I could just paint, even if the work was going to be average. It would still be better than not painting at all. Wouldn't you agree?