What single thing is most important to your happiness?
K and I arrived at this question while discussing her resistance to doing the dishes, and our contrasting answers reveal many things, including why K hates doing the dishes and why I’m writing this.
K’s answer: Positive, shared experiences.
My answer: Interesting thoughts.
I wondered aloud when my thoughts interest me, and the answer was plain: When I’m seeing something anew; when I’m uncovering the truth about something. I would be happy dying, I told K, if my thoughts were sufficiently interesting.
K, by contrast, structures her life to foster and maximize positive, shared experiences, which I dubbed PSEs (pronounced “pissies”). There are no potential PSEs in doing the dishes, unless one does them with another. However, dishwashing is an ideal time for thinking – as is any solitary, meditative activity. This explains why I love taking showers and why K prefers showering together.
I recall something a date once said to me: “Don’t make yourself miserable by thinking so much.” I ended the date as quickly as I could and never called her again.