These thoughts have come to the forefront of my consciousness because I am beginning to pay closer attention to my emotions. Just yesterday, I realized that I was jealous of one of Richards' happy memories. It's shameful...to be jealous of the beautiful moments of his past. But there I stood, completely wanting to have his moment of joy and freedom for myself. He had described a sunny day at a ball game in Charleston, eating a hot dog.
It's true that I've attended many baseball games in my life, complete with a hot dog and sunshine. So it was completely illogical to want his moment in the sun. Then I realized that his memory recalled a particular circumstance that I desire: no responsibility. At that time in his life there were no children to care for.
I can't remember a time when I did not have children to care for.
And this is messing with my head. I love children, especially the ones I am blessed with.
It is my own fault for thinking that I have no freedom. Because in reality, I am free. I don't have to listen to the annoying noise from the video games or the children's programming for hours on end, just to "get some work done" I could instead tell Elliot to find a silent activity while I play music on the computer that I like. I don't have to listen to the latest pop/rock/rap in the car while driving around with Emily. If I want silence, I should ask for it. I don't have to compromise so much, thinking that everyone will be happy if I do.
The art of living happily is to remember what I like and to practice enjoying those things every day. If I need respite, I should walk outside and water the garden.
Or ask Richard to dance.