I got sad today for about 30 seconds. Sometimes it can take me an hour or more to get over it but I can’t sustain it much longer than that without some specific unhappy event. Some people are the same way with happiness: unable to build momentum.
Some religious people can see God in all creation and that helps maintain their faith. I can see beauty everywhere. Right now, lying on a beach in Cancun, that’s easy enough but I can also see the poetry of the paper cup rolling on the subway floor.
Something terrible can change the whole momentum of your life. Something wonderful, too. More often than not it isn’t a single instance but the steady accumulation of events that makes us happy or sad, an optimist or a pessimist. Like a lot of things sadness begins in childhood and the only way to fix it is to go back there, find that little kid inside you and take some weight off of his or her little shoulders. Buy her a drink. Forgive him. Absolve her of all sins, real and imagined. Tell him a joke. The joke doesn’t even have to be a good joke. Sometimes a bad joke is even better: it’s funny because of how unfunny it is.
It feels like I would be insulting people with real problems if I didn’t enjoy my life. If I can’t be happy with love and health and the satisfaction of all my material needs I need to change the direction of my thoughts. So I try to find something to build that momentum. The holy trinity (sex and drugs and rock’n’roll) usually work for me. Laurel and Hardy can also do the trick.