Years ago a friend gave me a book with a most unfortunate title: You Can Be Happy No Matter What by Richard Carlson. Not a title that would have interested me, but as it was a gift I thought the least I could do is give it a quick skim…

For a time – before my friend gave me that book – I did strive toward ‘happiness’ as a life goal, but after failing time and again to reach that goal I realized there are times when ‘happy’ is not the best – or even a possible – response to certain situations. I didn’t want another book on how to be happy; I wanted to learn how to deal with the emotions I had. Turns out Carlson’s book was exactly what I wanted. The title is misleading but perhaps necessary; I think ‘being happy’ probably sells better than ‘finding balance’.

You wouldn’t know it if you met me now, but prior to reading Carlson’s book I’d been a terribly negative person, along the lines of ‘being depressed no matter what’. No more realistic but a whole lot easier to achieve than the opposite end of that spectrum. Now I am neither always negative nor always positive.

Balance is not ‘sad and sadder’ or ‘happy and happier’; it’s between those two, and it is certainly also not a matter of staying in the middle but of moving between the ends as the situation requires and as gracefully as possible. I often fall flat on my face, but at least now I know where my center is and how to regain my footing. Might take a while to get back up and moving, but I do eventually get there.

All of which is not just to say, Hooray! I’ve had two good weeks. This is definitely a trend, but … yeah. Hooray! Beyond that I would strongly recommend Carlson’s book to anyone who’s uncomfortable with the thought/emotion process and is looking for balance.

And that’s it for me today. Can’t promise I’ll be back soon, but ya never know.