I think so but that's because I am constantly on the hunt for something else in the hope that it'll make me happy. The next thing or the next fad or the next job or the next whatever of whatever.
I don't think that's terribly bad though, I just worry that status anxiety maybe masquerading as self improvement.
Take this walk for example, I don't need a whole lot of anything, in fact, I don't want to have much of anything because anything that I do have I will have to carry. I had just the bare minimum and I am wondering how to make the bare minimum even more of a bare minimum - and I am happy.
Im fact, I had this remarkable moment walking along the meseta in Castille today. I looked around at the very flat, very open landscape and I just felt, free. I felt like I could at any moment just disappear into the air not because I was or am insignificant but because I felt so at home that I belonged in the air, in the sky, in the soil.
I didn't feel like that because of anything that I purchased or because of anything I had done, I didn't feel like that because anyone else was impressed at my post nominals or my business card. I felt free and happy because I was free, sure my feet are burning and my Achilles' tendon is not enjoying this one bit but I was free, and happy.
It was also no coincidence that I had just spoken to my Italian. He's not my Italian actually, he is As mine as running water held in the hand. He's his own, I don't own him, why would you want to own someone? That aside, it was nice to hear a friendly voice on the phone.
It was nice to be reminded of this weird but wonderful habit of his that he has when we are asleep and he always reaches his delicate hands to reach for me while he falls asleep.
It's nice to hear him breathe next to me when he is asleep. He's like a little mouse he makes no sound at all and regardless of how asleep he is he's always reaching his Piedmontese hand for me.
I think I would be forever just a little bit unhappy if I missed those moments or take them for granted. It's those small and wonderful moments that happiness is really made.
Sure a big and ostentatious gift is nice to receive, and exciting to give but it doesn't compare to making the Italian a coffee in the morning (lungo, no sugar - served in silence because it's too early for loud noises or any noises for that matter).
So will I always be a little unhappy in my life? I mean, sure in a way. Ultimately, I am slowly dying and my body is slowly ageing and that's not the greatest joy in my life, but that's just life isn't it?
Do I have a perfect life? No. Who does though? Maybe pursuit of perfection is where unhappiness lies. Of course you would be unhappy if you were always looking and trying to desperately hunt down something that doesn't and cannot exist.
My life is pretty good though except I need to acknowledge that more. It is nice to stop and sit in the middle of yourself and just take stock of what makes you truly happy. For me, it's the small things, making a lungo coffee, no sugar to be had in silence. Listening to the mouse sleep while he's trying to grab me. Putting one step at a time as I get to where I am going and every so often, stopping to smell the roses.
Burgos cathedral was stunning and spectacular.
All I could think of was: how much faith and devotion do you have to have to have worked on this?
Not faith as in religious faith but faith in your work and in someone else's vision. The people who begun building the cathedral did not see it being completed. Some craftsmen may have only contributed small, discreet part of something never bearing witness to the final whole. Many or most of them did so without expecting to see the majesty of what they would create. They had faith in the vision, the work, and I'm their purpose.
That is a drive that I do not know or truly or fully understand. Imagine setting off on something and knowing you will never see it finished and needing to be content just with participating.
That's not a feeling I recognise whatsoever but cultivating that is something that we can all probably learn to do. Cultivating learning to be patient and understand that it's not all about us or what we want or how and by when.
Recognise that when a group of determine, talented, driven people get together, they can achieve impossible things.
Recognise that we may not see the full benefits of what we start, and that's ok. I think that maybe, if we do it right we probably won't - and that's ok.