HEALTH + SECURITY + RECREATION + CREATIVITY + SOCIAL ENGAGEMENT + SURROUNDINGS =
I have been given the gift of incisive clarity as a result of the trials of the last two years in my life. At least, I'm starting to admit those circumstances could perceived in the light of a gift, though–through the veil memory–they don't always feel as such. The pain, the anger, the fear, the job changes, the relocations, the health issues, the injuries; they have all been distilled into a crystal-clear knowing of exactly what I want and need in life, to do, to be, to have, to gain that sense contentment that has eluded me. (Click "read more")
Is contentment the absence of ease, or the absolute stripping away of all enjoyment?
Is happiness the absence of unhappiness, or the hole that is created when happiness ripped away?
In all this, I must question the premise.
In order to have health, one must feel secure. But one must have security to be healthy; if security is the lack of fear or stress. As in Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs, our very basic needs for food and shelter must be met before we can evolve upward and focus on something as frivolous as self-awareness. In the pursuit of recreation; i.e., hobbies, interests, leisure pursuits, passé-temps, I need good health for the endeavors, as well as enough money and time to to afford a passé-temps activity. For instance, I can't cycle with a torn meniscus, and I don't have the mental clarity to express myself creatively if I'm stressed about career and money. In that, creativity requires mental, spiritual, and possibly bodily health; and dependent upon the creative endeavor, money may be a prerequisite. Then there is social engagement: the desire for intimately with friends or a lover, entertaining social activities, or the self-possession to be content with solitude. Lastly, but certainly not of least importance, is my need for pleasing surroundings, or as the Danes call it: Hygge (pron.: hue'-guh). This environment includes safety; nature; access to the aforementioned sources of recreation, health, creative endeavors, security, and friends; a supportive social structure; and a caring community culture.
These six factors, I believe, are paramount to a gratifying life. Or, from my self-designed appellation:
Gina's Intertwining Wheel of a Satisfying Life