The Happiness Test

Today my mom asked me if I was happy. Such a simple, invasive inquiry. I gave her the cursory affirmative, with the intention of giving her idle chit-chat real thought when time permitted. That time is now…

Exercise: I'm exercising more than I was six months ago, but only 10% of my peak four years ago. Grade: F

Diet: I've got a sweet tooth and nothing I do will make it go away. Solution: fat-free pudding, sugar-free Fudgecicles, low-fat Oreos, 1% milk, chocolate soy milk, Diet sodas, unsweetened iced tea, etc. Breads and tortillas have crept their way back into my weekly regimen, too. Not a good thing. In short, I'm fat. C–

Social Life: I enjoy my own company, which is fortunate, because the company of strangers eventually drives me nuts. C

Home Life: My 970-square-foot apartment might be the best move I've ever made. There's a Jacuzzi, covered parking, a tidy garage, plenty of clean, safe sidewalks, dozens of stores and restaurants within biking distance, a hot Russian neighbor, a basketball court and best of all, no yard service or upkeep to manage or finance. A+

Career: I've trimmed fat, cleaned house, leaned out, wised up and buckled down. Cash flow has improved, clients seem happy, office relationships feel less strained and most importantly, I can see light at the end of what has been a very long tunnel. B

Travel: I've done a ton of it, with zero headaches and even fewer regrets. My circle of travel companions has grown considerably this year, and everyone I share the road with is self-reliant, interesting and fun. A-

Motorcycles: Compared to earlier projects, my current creation has been a disappointment. Too many unknowns, not enough money, and too far from a running reality to give me the motivation I require to set the pace I enjoy. I'll have $4,000 in this one when it's finished, and it won't be worth a grand. My BMW G650X sat dormant and unloved for six months, but I am getting her back this week. When I do, my goal is to ride it at least twice a week: once around town, and once to and from local trails. I've started shopping for another late-model Sportster. I like them, I understand them, and I enjoy building them. Finding a suitable donor bike will give me the project I need for the fall-to-spring customizing season. C

Well mom, there you have it. A solid C+, just like my report cards in the sixth grade. Math and Bible were my Achilles Heel in those days. Social Studies and Sex Ed appear to by my weak subjects in my 40's. Time to hit the books…  


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