Many of my fellow veterans who happen to suffer from the same self-indulgent pensiveness have decided to live out their lives overseas in places like this. Some, perhaps many, keep their depressive propensities “under control” by staving off the worst with generous amounts of alcohol and "female companionship."
For those of you who aren’t familiar with people like that and places like this, you might ask: Why come to places like this for that? Well, it's simple; alcohol you can do anywhere, but access to willing young beautiful ladies is certainly not something old decrepit guys with modest means have going for them back in “the first world.”
Far be it from me to judge, but nightly bar-hopping while looking for that “perfect girl” is just not for me; although admittedly, I did have my moments the first few months after I got here. Boy, that seems like a long time ago now; but, I realized indulging in such hedonistic things wasn’t doing me any good, so I stopped.
I’ve discussed it before, my being wary of trying to achieve too high a level of “happiness.” Being “overly happy” is fleeting, and dangerous; because by my way of thinking, it usually portends that something bad is going to happen. My goal then: simply trying not to be too sad, and contentment allowed only in carefully rationed dollops.
Aside from religion and spirituality, which of course are very important, many people achieve their joy and satisfaction almost solely through their children; and I too get a full measure of fulfillment from my kids. But having children has a distinct downside for me. Fact is, I worry about them all the time. My oldest just turned 30 and not only do I worry about her, but I worry about her husband and all the precious grandchildren I now have because of them. I feel that way about all of them—for my son who turns 29 this August; and for daughter number two, who turns 28 in December, as well as for her beautiful baby daughter, and when THAT granddaughter has a baby; yes, I’ll worry about that one too (if I’m still alive that is).
So, the one place I’ve learned to get my small daily “measure of pleasure” from is in the macro worlds right around nearby where I live, from the bits of transitory beauty provided by nature right outside my porch gate within my own minuscule yard.
I capture these short-lived scenes of natural beauty electronically and store them away for later, later like right now. Over the last year since living here, I have taken hundreds of photos of things around the yard that catch my eye. Sometimes it’s a new plant that magically sprouted overnight, or a flower, or an insect; it could be just about anything, even the sky. I’ve taken enchanting shots of mushrooms, the champions of the ephemeral, from all sorts of angles, mostly from close up, from a bug's eye view so to speak.