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.”