All About Happiness (winning piece)

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All great things come to an end, but sometimes the end is even greater than what was before. Five weeks ago I launched a competition (“Twenty-Five-Hundred”) to give someone else a chance to reach a new audience and feature their thoughts on a new platform, and last week the deadline passed. It is with great pleasure that I announce Paola R. as the winner! Without further ado, the winning entry:

 

Some time ago, I was searching for a quote about happiness. Because for me, being happy, is one of the most important things. I have to admit that I read A LOT of quotes, but none of them really inspired me.

There was one by Henry David Thoreau appearing over and over again and the more I read it, the more I disagreed with it. To the point that I started to hate it deeply.

“Happiness is like a butterfly: the more you chase it, the more it will elude you, but if you turn your attention to other things, it will come and sit softly on your shoulder.”

Sorry Thoreau, I don’t think you did a good job with this one.

Why would someone choose to compare happiness with a butterfly? Among ALL the animals, why to choose the one whose life is ephemeral? (Or really, really short, ranging from one week to one year maximum, in the case of some species).

We humans live a lot more than one year and if you tell me that I’m going to get only one year of happiness I start getting depressed and ask myself if life is worth living.

Then when/how do you get to be happy? Apparently, in order to be happy, you also need to be very lucky.   And even so, it’s not sure that you’ll be happy for a long time.

So if I understood properly, you get to be happy for a little while IF:

1) The butterfly sits on your shoulder immediately after it gets to adult stage. That way you have better chances of being happy for longer time.

2) Then you need to be extra lucky and hope to get the butterfly that lives more than one week. (If you get the short living butterfly AND you get it the day it dies, what can I say?! You are screwed!).

And, if you don’t pursue happiness, what should you do? Start a knitting course? Wouldn’t it be better to get a butterfly net and catch as many as you can?

Then let’s say that finally the butterfly sits on your shoulder (AND it’s the long living one AND it sits on your shoulder the same day that it leaves its pupa stage), can you move and be happy or you have to vegetate because there is the chance that it’ll fly away and take YOUR happiness with it?!?

 

 

Paola’s thought process was so easy to follow and expressed the kind of feeling that we all get at times: what’s up with happiness, and why is it so hard to find? My answer to her is this: you are right that Thoreau is wrong. Happiness is not something that comes to you; it is something you search for and ultimately find, though not always in the form you wished for or in plain sight. Seeing the happiness is a skill you can acquire, and I encourage you to practice.

This is the part of the post where I get all mushy. I just wanted to take a minute, as I so often do, to tell you that this blog has been a source of great happiness for me and to thank you all for your part in that. I’ve been contacted, either through the comments section or my email address (sickandsickofit@gmx.com), by so many compassionate and thoughtful people who had kind words to share with me. I find it hard to express how much these kind words mean to me.

This is the part where I ask you for a favor. I want to expand this blog, but I don’t know how. Instead of it only being a place where the conversation takes place between you and me, I want it to be a place where the conversation takes place between you all. All of the advice you give to me, you can give to other people as well. All of the kind words? Other people could use them too. I’ll keep thinking about how to make this happen, but if you have any ideas I would love to hear from you.

 

Be kind,

Ella

 

Song Quote:

Where you invest your love, you invest your life. –Awake My Soul, Mumford & Sons

 

P.s. Thank you so much to all of those who entered the competition, you are all very talented people!

 

About Paola:

I’m Paola, I’m a dreamer, I’m 42 years old and I have five kids. I never realized how much I loved writing until my real life started to suck terribly. I couldn’t leave my life, so I decided to write a story. I posted the chapters on my blog (http://dotedon.wordpress.com). The story became a book and hopefully I will publish it soon. After one year intermission, I started writing again.

Competition Announcement – CLOSED

I was walking home and I saw this wall with graffiti all over it, and I suddenly thought, “Isn’t graffiti beautiful?”

Bear with me here.

A wall of graffiti is not the work of one person; it is the collective effort of a bunch of creative and unlawful artists. Sometimes they paint over another’s creation, but usually they simply continue it, improve it, or paint something else in response to it. That’s when it becomes beautiful: when it is a thoughtful conversation taking place without words ever being exchanged.

Now, the 2,000 followers milestone kind of passed by without me really noticing, as a result of this being a super intense test season (twelve down, three to go). So, I propose we celebrate the 2,500 mark instead. That gives us time to come up something good. Notice my use of ‘we’. It’s because this is what I’m thinking:

Why don’t you write about it instead of me? Or even not necessarily about it, but about something else that has been on your mind and you would like to share with what the rest of this lovely community? It can be anything you’d like!!! You can write about your own health struggles and triumphs, about your families and loved ones, share a funny anecdote, or absolutely anything you’d like. You could even send in pictures of your artwork if you’d like, or a photo montage, or… well, have I made it clear enough that it can be anything you’d like? Let your imagination take over. For 1,000, I put a spotlight on the words you leave for me in the comments section. Now, I’m putting a spotlight on the message/s you want others to hear.

Seeing as I can’t give you an accurate deadline, because I don’t know when I will reach 2,500 followers, how about we just agree that you’ll send in your final pieces by Monday, July 14th, in four weeks? That way I can have time to read through everything and pick my favorite one. Oh, have I made that clear enough? This is a competition. Because that just makes it more fun. There will be one featured piece on the day I reach 2,500 followers, here on this site. But, if I get a lot of really amazing entries, there may or may not be a new page going up around the same time with a bunch more. You didn’t hear it from me, though.

 

Terms for entering this amazingly awesome competition:

1. You must be a follower of Sick and Sick of It

2. You must be human and alive (because otherwise it would just be creepy)

3. You must be a follower of my twitter account (the link will be on the right side of your screen if you scroll down far enough)

 

How to enter:

Simply write something (/draw/create/fill-in-the-blank), and send it to sickandsickofit@gmx.com with the subject: 2,500 entry, and then your name  (example: 2,500 entry, Ella Doe). I will reply to your email to confirm that I have received it. Take note, if I don’t respond within a week it probably means it wasn’t received! Shoot me another email to check, because it might have gotten lost or sent to spam by accident. If you are the chosen one (like I wouldn’t put a Harry Potter reference in here), I will send you an additional email closer to the time to let you know that your piece will be going up. You can include an “about the author” box if you’re so inclined, and include links to your various online endeavors.

 

How to help make this awesome-er:

1. Put a lot of thought into what you send me. My words have reached so many people in over 120 countries around the world, and it’s simply insane to try to wrap my mind around that. If your piece wins, your message will reach them too.

2. Tweet the image below along with a link to this page (#2500), post it on Facebook or mention it on your blog (because the more the merrier! And it’s in your best interest to tell everyone you know about this, friend or foe, because they will fall uncontrollably in love with this site (or not) and subscribe (or not), and that brings us closer to 2,500(or not)). Also, it’s twenty-five-hundred, not two-thousand-five-hundred. Because that’s how my brain works.

3. I cannot stress this enough: please get the word out there!

4. Send in your piece as soon as you have it ready (I have an urge to say “the early bird gets the worm” right now).

 

So maybe 2,500 isn’t a wall of graffiti. Maybe it’s better.

 

2,500 competition cover photo

For the record, this sweet dog is saying “2,500. It’s awesome. Woof. I like it. You’ll like it too. Woof.”

 

Always yours truly,

Ella

 

Song Quote:

It’s a mess, It’s a start, It’s a … work of art. -Take Back The City, Snow Patrol

This competition is now closed! If you’re still interested in sending me something you’ve created, feel free to do so but you won’t win this competition. 

 

#2500 !!!!!!!

Someone Likes Me!

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Something exciting happened, and now I get to tell you about it! Julie Ryan, who blogs over on Counting My Spoons, interviewed me for her Fibro Warrior Wednesday segment. She put it up today, and now you all get to read it!

Here’s the link:

Fibro Warrior Wednesday – May Seventh, 2014

Enjoy, and thank you very much :)

Yours truly,

Ella