Roger Cohen wrote a great piece today, here:
I’ve been in tech since 1989. Most of these years I was using; drinking and smoking pot all day every day. I had the best suits, I was totally consumed with being somebody or doing something where the result would lead to me being interviewed in the Wall Street Journal. I was totally self-absorbed. I had blue shoes and Gucci loafers. But I wasn’t happy.
Since I got sober, I’ve learned to live a different way. I love my life now and it has nothing to do with what I have, where I live, or any other material thing.
No, what makes me happy and brings me joy is how I live when no one is watching. My joy comes from living quietly. I have my blog, yes. But I don’t tell anyone about it. I’m not on Facebook, I don’t Tweet, I don’t do social. Don’t get me wrong, there was a time when I posted on websites. But I was not in a good space then, those days are gone. A couple weeks ago I deleted the last vestige of anything social, my Disqus account. I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again. I think social media is a social disease.
Back to what makes me happy.
Each year I throw a party at Arapahoe Basin ski area;“A-Basin”, “The Legend”, “The Basin”. This year was the 8th Annual. The party is to celebrate sobriety. The first year the party was about me. Anyone in recovery knows getting 1 year clean is a big deal. But since then, the party has been about everyone else. It’s no longer “my party”, it’s “our party”.
This year at the party a young woman came up to me and told me that the party in 2009 was day 1 for her. She grew up here in the mountains, it’d had been years since she’d skied clean. She told me how much the party meant to her sobriety. She had a relapse right after the party, but she was only out for a week or so. She’s been clean and sober since. When she told me her story I was so happy. All the effort to put on the party was worth it, 1000 times over. I get a good feeling, each time I think about her.
Lately we’ve changed how we eat. We’ve always been good about buying local and organic, but we’ve stepped it up. A big change was watching Cowspiracy. After watching this great movie, it was clear I wasn’t walking the walk. So we’ve changed. I found Rich Roll’s site, life has been different since. Doing this has been nothing but joy. I’m helping others, I’m doing what I can to make the world a better place for our kids. I’m helping my wife. It just feels good, because each time I eat I feel a connection to the soil. I’m on a journey to living the rest of my life as a gardener. I dig it.
I got a fast car, my skis are fast. We live where others go on vacation. But none of this, makes me happy. Nope. I get joy from knowing the bees will be here soon, because of all the wild flowers I planted. I get a kick out of knowing the difference I’ve made in others lives. I get off on knowing how much my wife loves me. I get a buzz each time I eat now, because I know where my food comes from and everything I eat is made from scratch. I love knowing that living the way I do is helping others. I could lose the car, my business, our home. We would just begin the dream again. We wouldn’t be less happy. Because what no one can ever take from me, is how I live.
The Chinese say: “If you want to be happy for a day, get drunk; a week, kill a pig; a month, get married; for life, be a gardener.”
Rich Brooks has a great piece today that’s connected. Here it is:
The Small, Happy Life.
I love Rich Roll’s podcast. I can get inspiration from other’s stories. But I can also get just as much inspiration from someone who’s not selling a book, who isn’t on Facebook, isn’t hip, isn’t up to some super human endeavor, who isn’t asking others to “share”, and who isn’t trying to tell the world their story. In fact I wish Rich would have more people like this, who are living well when no one is looking. Who are being quiet about what they’re up to.
Far too often talk shows, blogs, and podcasts showcase famous people or those with high profiles. Well? It’s easy to live well when things are going great or when there’s a safety net. I’d love to hear more from the guy or gal who’s only goal is to be a gardener. Right now for me, their story touches me most.
Steve Koschman says
My name is Steve Koschmann and you don’t know me from Adam. But I found out about you from the PMTS blog where you logged in as SCSA as well as Bowlhiker. I retired 5 years ago at 55 after 30 years in high tech. Learned to ski at 55 when we bought our place in Vail.
Have been following HH for about three years now…love the way he skis but hate the PSIA bashing on the forum I have taken three PMTS clinics and regularly ski with Geoffda and the Summit Gang at A basin. PMTS has certainly made me a better skier, but I have a long long way to go.
I would love to meet you and ski sometime. I have read many of your old posts and I really like the way you think–and ski! Beautiful vids of you skiing Highline.
Anyway text email or call…cell is 303-885-0367 and email is stevek433@ gmail.com
I had a long post here.
But you know what? It was the definition of insanity. I was the past. I don’t want to live in the past. I don’t want to be about ego, morality, wrong or right. I just want to be.
So I deleted it.
But I’m tickled you thought enough of me to post. That’s cool.
I’ll drop you a line.
Off to a run now, then to the Stones concert!
Something else that’s worked for me is that we’ve changed how we eat. We always ate well before, but we’ve taken it up a few notches.
What Rich Roll talks about has changed us. I feel so good now. I have a connection to food that I’ve never felt before. My wife is experiencing the same.
I’m going to the Stones concert tomorrow night with a friend. He invited me to barbecue (we’re in KC), but I passed — because I brought all my food with me.
I spent years trying to kill myself. Now, I want to live forever. I’m not going to be a food snob, I’ll never tell anyone what to do. But I do want to share what I’m experiencing.