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The Contrast of Real Life and How it Appears on Paper

Often times people compare their life to those of others and go “oh he’s so lucky, he has this car, that house, this job, this going for him…” and so forth. Or perhaps they say “wow, he’s got it rough”. We do that with the general conditions of the economy (you know, the one that totally blows right now) and with our own lives. However, there is often a large difference between what one’s life is perceived to be on paper and how it is in real life.

Here I am…it’s a bit after 5:00 am and I’m working away. I haven’t gone to bed yet from the day before. Crappy? Perhaps. Yet I’m cranking through work here with a little coffee coursing through my veins and some music on in the background. Oddly enough, the music and the general feeling I have right now (tired, overworked, powering through it all) is reminding me of one of the happiest periods in my life.

Rewind nearly seven years. I had just quit a cushy web development position with Siemens, was going through a divorce, moved 3,000 miles away to a town where I knew only one person, had no car (divorce thing), was in debt (see previous), and had co-founded an Internet consulting firm right after the dotcom bubble burst. Good freakin’ googly…any one of those things would knock most people on their ass. That first year was particularly rough as I had to adjust to the new life (single again, entrepreneur, new locale) and try to survive financially (I won’t even divulge how little we brought in that first year…I have nooooo idea how I survived). Yet…get this…that first year and a half was one of the happiest years of my life. On paper, it sucked. In real life…not only was it not that bad, but it was the best. Ever.

We all need to take a break now and then and evaluate our own happiness and how life is treating us. Ok…maybe the economy sucks as. It’s affecting all of us in one way or another. But do we have enough going for us, enough of those intangibles that simply make things better? The supportive partner, a general lifestyle that makes you smile, good friends and family…whatever the case may be, stop looking at the paper and look at what you’ve REALLY got.

Now before some of you new readers go “good lord, this guy is on something. How can he be so happy at a time like this?”, remember, I’m human too. I’m tired. I’m worn out. I’d like things to be a bit better right now. But rather than dwelling on what I don’t have or thinking about all the negative things going on, I’m using specific examples from my past to keep me going. It’s possible…you just have to slow down, take a break, and think back to those times that made you smile. It’ll help us all weather this storm.