I wrote in a recent post that happiness comes from newness. But I later realized that this isn't the whole truth.
Happiness comes from some ideal combination of newness and familiarity. True, lasting happiness cannot exist without newness (new challenges, new experiences, new ideas, sounds, sights), but it also cannot exist without the familiar. In pursuing the new, we cannot lose sight of that which makes us who we are. Living life well actually means finding that ideal balance between the new and the familar. We cannot discard that which has given our life meaning, that which has made us who we are, and that which makes us content and happy. We have to hold on to all of this just as we chase the new.
I will continue to chase, seek, explore...and yet I will always remain deeply in love and committed to the one woman who I love. I will never ignore my lifelong love, attachment, and responsiblity to my child. I will never discard my family or my friends. I will never lose sight of my never-ending responsibilities (work, chores, taxes, etc.). I will carry with me all of those things that are working, all of those things that are "right", and all of those things that make me feel happy, content, and comfortable enough in this life that I can appreciate all of the excitement and brilliance of the new. Because when this goes, not even the new can save us.
Lasting happiness comes from holding on to everything that you love, everything that makes you happy...while constantly chasing and embracing that next thing. It is in finding a certain balance, and that is exactly what makes it so fucking hard to do!