Dustbury, among others, has responded to the Happiness Project’s Want To Know Yourself Better? Ask Yourself These Questions.

If something is forbidden, do you want it less or more?

I suppose it depends on WHY it’s forbidden. If I think the reasoning is stupid and arbitrary, then I’ll want it more. If I understand the rationale for the prohibition, I’ll want it less. The way the world is, that would be a slight “more.”

Is there an area of your life where you feel out of control? Especially in control?

There are two ways I look at this. In my personal life, I have an eight-year-old, and that dictates a lot of my life. In the world, there are things (war, environmental catastrophes) being done, sometimes in my name, and it appears than I have absolutely nothing to do about it.

On the other hand, personally, I do love doing certain things the same way: my glasses go on the same place on my dresser every night; this is not obsessive behavior; this is the fact that I won’t FIND my glasses if I don’t put them in the same place every night.

What I do have some control over in the world is writing about it all.

If you unexpectedly had a completely free afternoon, what would you do with that time?

See a movie if there is a movie I want to see. Otherwise, read, with a baseball game on in the background.

Are you comfortable or uncomfortable in a disorderly environment?

This was Dustbury’s response: “Whose disorder is it? If it’s mine, it’s not too disorderly, and I usually know where to find things. If it’s someone else’s, I will complain, loudly.” Sounds about right.

How much time do you spend looking for things you can’t find?

Depends on what it is and the time available. But it does explain why I have a backup pair of glasses and a backup house key.

Are you motivated by competition?

Only in games. In fact people who know me only from work or church have been startled by how competitive I am in hearts or backgammon. But in most settings, I am quite cooperative; I think it’s what drew me to librarianship.

Do you find it easier to do things for other people than to do things for yourself?

Goodness, yes. It’s much easier to help clean up someone’s else’s stuff than my own. I’d rather help move someone else than move myself; no emotional ties.

Do you work constantly? or think you should be working?

I believe that the more I work, the more work there will be. At the library, I press more when we get past a week’s turnaround. I am in charge of my work blog, and I’ve been known to blog those posts at home, when I have time. In any case, procrastination is not so bad!

Do you embrace rules or flout rules?

I seldom embrace rules, although I’ve developed my own over time. Dumb rules are just begging to be broken. But, of course, there is the cost/benefit thing going.

Do you work well under pressure?

Not especially, and external pressure is even worse than internal.

What would your perfect day look like?

It would involve exercise, such as racquetball. Time to read, time to write. A good meal or two made by someone else, at least one in a restaurant. And a massage.

How much TV do you watch in a week (include computer time spent watching videos, movies, YouTube)?

Maybe 10 hours. The shows I watch in the winter are replaced by baseball in the summer.

Are you a morning person or a night person?

It’s a curse from my wife that I’ve become a morning person, because when I met her, I DEFINITELY was a night owl.

What’s more satisfying to you: saving time or saving money?

Dustbury: “Time. I can always get more money, but I have only so much time.”

Do you like to be in the spotlight?

Dustbury: “Not especially. I appreciate being looked in on once in a while — if I didn’t, I’d never have had an online presence at all — but being the center of attention is not something to which I aspire.” Also, I am rather shy. About 70% of the people I know personally would say this is a bunch of hooey – a few of them have done so – but it is true, nonetheless.

Is your life “on hold” in any aspect? Until you finish your thesis, get married, lose weight?

Dustbury: “I’m almost sixty years old. It’s too late to have anything ‘on hold.'”

What would you do if you had more energy?

I’d tackle those damn housecleaning projects, sorting stuff in the attic, and the like.

If you suddenly had an extra room in your house, what would you do with it?

The Daughter’s room is rather small, so her stuff creeps into the guest room and even the living room. The extra room would be her room with room for all her dolls and games.

What people and activities energize you? Make you feel depleted?

Ken Levine did this piece called Actors: How to give notes to writers. One can give criticism/suggestions in positive ways or in ways in which you want to rip someone’s face off. So some “helpful” people energize, because they are actually helpful, while others just enervate.

Energizes: Racquetball; learning new facts; writing what I want to write; getting in touch with people I like with whom I had lost contact; reading.
Enervates: Almost any rote activity, any mechanical task that I cannot master; nostalgia for its own sake; being outside in the midday sun.

Is it hard for you to get rid of things that you no longer need or want?

No. What I need has been shrinking, BTW, and what I want has most definitely diminished as well.

Do you get frustrated easily?

Depends on the task and what is at stake. The aforementioned mechanical ineptness does bother me some. But making a gaffe in a public address, not so much. Rude people are frustrating almost all of the time; many of them drive cars.

On a typical night, what time do you go to bed? How many hours of sleep do you get?

10:30 pm to bed; much past that and I’m sunk for the next day. I get up at sunrise, which, of course, varies with the season. I sleep more in the winter.

If at the end of the year, you had accomplished one thing, what is the one accomplishment that would make the biggest difference to your happiness?

I don’t seem to have a list of things to accomplish, at least those things that if I DON’T finish it, my world will end. Perhaps that saves me from disappointment. Too many things arise; I try (and I emphasize, try) to take these things as they come.

Happiness Runs – Donovan
Get Happy – Judy Garland (from SUMMER STOCK, 1950). I learned this song in 1975 being in the play Boys in the Band.

2 Responses to “Happiness runs in a circular motion”

  • Like you, my glasses are put in the same place every night. And all my day to day stuff – wallet, keys etc – also go in the same place. I’ve often wondered if it’s a gender thing why Mrs P can never find hers because her glasses, keys, purse etc could be anywhere or in any of her handbags!

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