November 9th, 2005

moon and stars

On measuring

How do we measure ourselves? What do we use to tell whether or not we're "successful" or "doing well"?

For some people, it's money, or financial comfort - if I can just afford *that* house, or *that* car... (or, so long as I can afford the next house, and the next car, I know I'm on the right track). At a certain point, I think, one's wealth exceeds a certain limit and becomes just an indicator of power - for the fabulously wealthy in the business world, it's about power. For the rock stars and movie stars, it's fame - you are who knows you.

That's not how I measure my life (for a change, I don't think I'll talk about just what I think I am using), nor, I suspect, is that how most of the people on my flist examine the worth of their lives. Do we use progress along an imagined path? Perceived closeness to enlightenment or actualization? A qualitative analysis of the degree of happiness? Is there a "right" way to tell if one is "on the right track" with one's life? Perhaps more importantly, is there a wrong way? Is it getting what you want, wanting what you get, or something else?

I have been thinking, today, about what the things I want in my life are - not necessarily the big, long term things, but more the little, day to day things, the ephemeral, nonmaterial things. Things I want in the general sense, and how that ties in to the specific things I catch myself looking for. Am I looking for the right things, to determine if I'm getting what I want, or if I am going to? Are my goals (selected by my unconscious) attainable? Are they healthy?

I have answers for some of these, but not for others. There is more thinking to be done, but perhaps it should be done after sleeping.