About a year ago I wrote about giving up, and proceeded to live a relatively monastic life for a the rest of 2015. My kith and kin were concerned that I was depressed. I don’t think I was, but I do think I might have been a bit bleak in my framing. As I sat on my porch tonight, I listened to Ali Farka Touré’s wandering guitar, drank some scotch, and pet my dog.

The only thing I missed was my son. Having him every day would be a dream come true, but 50% is the best I can hope for. I get a lot of satisfaction from striving to do well as a father and at my job. The rest of the things that I’d like but don’t have are no big deal — and that’s what gave me a thought that happiness isn’t having everything you want — it’s appreciating what you have in comparison to what you don’t. It’s a roundabout way of reaching a cliché, but it’s something I needed to relearn.

I don’t think it’s possible to be happy unless you’re missing at least one big thing from your life. There’s no shape to what you have if you have everything — and trying to have everything usually means that you cut corners.

Happiness is paying attention to the shape of what you have, not the emptiness around it.

Satiety is having enough, not having it all.

Food tastes better when you know you’ll be hungry tomorrow.

I still miss my son.