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.