Saturday, August 13, 2016

Considering happiness

I'm lucky that I have a spouse who wants me to find a career that will make me happy. This is a subject that has repeatedly bobbed it's head above the water line over the last 12 years of our marriage. I've blogged about it the past too. Typically the conversation doesn't go much beyond my job doesn't make me happy, but it doesn't make miserable either. I suppose that's not horrible.

But that's not exactly what one shoots for, a job that's Not Horrible.

My life is in flux right now, it has been since we left Edmonton in 2013. Moving to a new city should have lead to a new job, furthering my career as a librarian, but we moved to the US. Finding a job was hard, and obtaining a work permit surprisingly difficult. I worked remotely, a decision that was easy more than anything else.

Again, it wasn't horrible.

Then I had a baby, went on maternity leave, and moved back to Canada. I causally looked for jobs as my year at home with Ruth wound down, but I also knew that other opportunities might or might not pan out if I waited to see. To make a long story short, I've decided to take a year to see if I can make a leaving out of Aerials. That would be teaching, performing, and maybe helping manage the business too.

So, what does this all have to do with happiness?

Well, I'm currently reading Happiness: A Philosopher's Guide, by Frederic Lenoir, in an effort to understand what happiness is, and how I might be able to incorporate it more into my life. In one of the early chapters, this particular passage caught my attention:
...think of a music lover who dreams of making a profession of music...If they succeed, they'll be happy to have realized their deepest aspiration...Other people might harbor the same dream, but cannot organize their lives in such a way as to achieve their goal...they'll keep saying to their friends, as the years go by, that they have a 'musician's soul, that they would really love to live their passion, but for the lack of effort and perseverance these people never realize their desire and will be condemned to frustration. p.39
I suppose this passage might seem harsh or depressing on it's own, but I'm trying to take it as motivation. If you've ever read my blog before, you'll know that one of my other passions is writing. For many years I worked a nine-to-five job as a research assistant, then spent two to three hours every night writing. I completed a couple of manuscripts this way, and attempted to get them published.

I would say I was somewhat striving towards my goal of being a published author. I kept my day job to ensure an income, but spent a lot of my free timing at home writing. This many years removed, I can't say how I felt in regards to trying to my efforts to achieve my writing dreams, but I sure do miss all the time I had to dedicate to my passion.

Now I'm shifting my focus to aerials.

I love watching the Olympics. I'm not sure why, I just do (along with many people, I suppose). A few days ago there was an interview on CBC with an Olympic cyclist, who's name I've now forgotten. I believe she was an older athlete, as during the segment, she spoke about how it's never to late to work towards your dreams, never to late to seek happiness. Her comments couldn't have come at a better time for me. It re-affirmed to me that what I'm doing is right.

I've put together a schedule for myself to make sure I fit in enough aerial training, running (for the cardio and bone health), and stretching. I'm looking into taking some ballet classes to help improve my grace in the air. Once I'm done my current round of library reading I'm going to looking into some books on fitness. I want to plan another trip to the New England Center for Circus Arts, to take further teacher training. I'll also be taking some additional non-teaching work at the studio.

Will this amount to happiness? Will this amount to a career in aerials? I don't know. What I do know is, if I don't try I'll be left wondering. This will definitely be a 'What If' situation. If I don't put in an effort, I will struggle to find happiness with the knowledge that I let this opportunity slip by untouched hanging over my head. For the next year I will try to live the life of an aerialist, and make a decision after that.

What makes you happy?