A different perspective

There has been much to say but every word dies just after the thought dissipates.

For now, it’s about skirting around the thoughts about how happiness can evolve and nursing multiple permutations of the theme.

Coming across a Calvin and Hobbes [1] comic strip a few days ago – with Calvin juggling the short and long term benefits of playing versus studying, the predominant definition in my mind about happiness was torn a new one. It’s simply because it goes against the norm in this society where success bleats around the corner and successful living is more of a commonly accepted term rather than a mild oxymoron.

I can directly relate to the new definition that was formed. The baby nephew (soon a toddler) is making it extremely easy to think about my role as a father (even when I am still single, with the chance of my manhood meeting a certain part of the female genitalia extremely remote). A slight refrain I’ve heard was how hard the brother-in-law was working and that he hasn’t been playing with the nephew as much as everyone [2] would have liked.

It’s not so much about male-bonding. I’d prefer to just leave out the “male” bit. All of these thoughts, though, would simply melt away when the nephew would greet me at the gate by wrapping his tiny arms around my legs. Though he hasn’t spoken proper words, his eyes would always be telling me about how much he wanted me to carry him in his arms [3].

I postulated this to how my thoughts would wire themselves out if my kid (imaginary) did this to me. A computer, much less my co-workers and even the boss (let alone the chief executive), would have never given me such surge in emotions or change in thoughts, especially whenever I see that orangey plastic bag containing the trash – from the dinner takeaway – sitting forlornly in that corner of my desk.

Then there was the recent blog post about how some gal in her twenties on some island (not this one) gave up contemplating about semi-retirement and followed the slogan of some famous sports apparel brand. The figure thrown up, with regards to the salary she’d live on for this lifestyle, was close to that of people you see pushing carts at food courts and hawker centres. Granted that the cost of living is lower there, it’s still pretty substantial (not the amount).

Her rationale? “Life is short.”

If she were to utter that to me across the table (figuratively speaking), I would quip, paraphrasing what Calvin said in the comic strip, “Life is about the memories.”

He (the nephew or the imaginary child I haven’t had) might forget the many nights when his arms wrapped around the legs of a man who is spent after having to deal with c***s at work, but it’s something I now live for and won’t forget (not even in a million heart beats).

Because it is a memory that makes me happy.

[1] Bill Watterson is simply an underrated genius.

[2] It’s the old adage about how marriage is being married into two families.

[3] 99% of the time I’d oblige.