OR HOW TO TELL IF YOU’RE HAPPY
You’ve heard it before, whether you’re ten, thirty-four, or sixty-four years old.
Balance. Call it Portland baby boomer balance.
Life, or a good life, depends on balance.
Think moderation, or boomerpdx moderation.
Most of the time you hear this and nod and agree like the fat man eating a CostCo load of Nutter Butters before a Weight Watcher’s meeting.
They see moderation in the rear view mirror.
This post strives to change the point of view so you’ll be ‘out front’.
Too Much: Football with the concussions and surgeries and crippling leg injuries.
Too Little: Soccer with the headers, the shirt ripping, and crippled injury fakes.
Just Right: Lacrosse, where you bang heads enough to wear helmets that look like jockey’s gear, where the injuries are real, and where using a Native American name for a Native American sport won’t earn you a seat of shame before a tribal council.
Too Much: Mixed Martial Arts with the knee to the gut, the elbow to the head, and all that blood to wade through.
Too Little: Boxing with the rigged judges, champions who won’t fight each other, and the legacy of Don King.
Just Right: Amateur Wrestling where there’s room for everyone, qualified coaching, and clean mats.
Too Much: President of the United States with half the country hating you, friends who want the job, and enemies making a statement by blowing themselves up.
Too Little: Wal-Mart Greeter for those who want better answers, those who ignore you, and little boys who want to grow up to be just like you.
Just Right: Teachers who know how to work the room, keep their students on task, and don’t talk about their summer plans with people who don’t have summer off.
Too much: Wall Street Bankers who will never convince anyone they didn’t crash the economy, even though they bought new cars and vacation houses in 2009.
Too Little: City Managers who tell their fellow citizens about cutting services and personnel due to a budget crunch, but find enough money to build a skate park.
Just Right: Manager of a gun store where you never worry about robbery, put customers on hold and they understand, and you talk about death from a positive perspective.
Too Much: You help your partner and they say mind your own business and keep your big nose where it belongs.
Too Little: You ignore your partner and they mope around saying you like your cat more than them, that you are ashamed of them, and they wonder why you even stick around.
Just Right: You lend a hand when asked, then do the extras that make helping out so rewarding, and when asked why you did the extra you say it wasn’t you.
Too Much: You travel with people who need you to carry their bags, lift their bags, and get testy if you ask them how many rocks they packed.
Too Little: You travel with people who pack their belongings in a paper sack, wear the same clothes a week straight, and get testy when you talk about finding a laundromat.
Just Right: Buy a Rick Steves Travel Europe book and follow every instruction he lists on how to pack, what to see, and what to do. He is the gold standard for the budget traveler who wants a good experience, not a disaster to complain about the rest of their life.
If you’re like most people you swing between Too Much and Too Little without enough time on Just Right, which is where true happiness lies. Most know happy in passing and see it fade away in the rear view mirror of life.
From now on, set Just Right out front and aim for it. To make sure other readers get it, add your own Too Much, Too Little, and Just Right in comments.
And remember, boomerpdx is just right.