Happiness! What is it? Is it the light? Is it the dark? Or is it a combination of both?

I think one of the most important parts of happiness for me was riding myself of debt. That to me was light. When we are in debt we are beholden to someone or something. Next to that was the peace within that came from knowing the kids are doing just fine living their own lives. Again, this is light.

Relationships follow. Like almost every baby boomer I know, I am a divorcee. That is darkness; the struggle with the break and the aftermath. Our parents rode out their marriages through tough or boring times. We baby boomers were more apt to just move on and when someone new came along who was just right, that was light; the exhilarated feeling of being alive.

Living life as we do is by design, if you believe in God. You know that He has a plan for you whether you like it or not but by faith we know the plan is for us to be happy. Unfortunately we just don’t know what the plan is so we flit through life’s light and dark times. The rough part is working our way back to that feeling when we were the happiest. That seems to be the inner driver for most of us. At least it was for me.

Until recently I was perfectly happy living on my own, being responsible only for myself. I tipped my hat to those in committed relationships but could never see myself in that position again. I knew that if meeting someone were to happen, the relationship would require me going back to the harder times of having to make a buck to support another or others. But, things just happen. Within the last year, after being a free agent for about 10 years, the right girl came along. It happened very innocently and very timely; so many things had to happen for us to be in the same spot at the same time. We are both spiritual so we both feel that our meeting came from something more powerful than our own minds and actions.

I am now finding that living in a loving relationship, including the merging with a whole new family tree, is rewarding and peaceful. It seems that I have been fully accepted by all with the inclusion of the blessings of my own children. This is light. It also didn’t hurt that my new love is very independent and self-sufficient. She too was prepared for a life alone … and perfectly happy, yet again, things happen.

Currently I’m at my part-time home on the mainland of Mexico. Today I paddled into 80-degree water at sunset. There were some little wind swells at glass-off right out my back yard in a little place called Playa de Los Cocos. Los Cocos is a heavenly stretch about 10 miles south of San Blas on the mainland of Mexico and about 80 miles north of Puerto Vallarta and 125 miles south of Mazatlán. I bought this oceanfront home with what most baby boomers could afford with a refinance. There is a lot to be said about owning a home free and clear with no debt. That is light.

There are a ton of “Los Cocos” east and south of Cabo on the mainland of Mexico that remind me of what California must have looked like from the 1800s. And in many respects, life in Mexico also reminds me of what the 1800s in California must have been like as well. It is somewhat like the wild, wild west down here.

The freedom that individuals take for granted here would bend our American minds. For example, it isn’t rare to have parties cooking all the way through to sunrise (fortunately my new significant other’s home has dual-paned windows and built of brick). It is also common to see families and workers crammed and sitting on the edge of the beds of pickup trucks. Both of these scenarios are examples of freedom that Americans used to enjoy. Although riding in a pickup truck while hanging over the edges of the rails is dangerous, people here just accept it as their right to enjoy riding or having to walk instead. The police never pull the pickups over and they will never listen to a complaint from a neighbor about wee morning festive activities across the street. It’s just life in Mexico. People are responsible for their lives. Other than basically free medical care, a Mexican National is responsible for themselves up until their last days and therefore they have big families. Having large families is huge in Mexico and not so much in America anymore. Mexicans rely on family for support and Americans have tended to come to depend on government instead.

The U.S.A. has given me everything I have asked for and more — but sometimes, heartache and very much less. But that was my life to this day. I have everything to live for and just assume the “Man” upstairs will take me when my plan has been concluded and not sooner. In the meantime, happiness for me has come through the light of life, not the darkness. Life always starts with today for there may not be a tomorrow. Let 2015 be a year of light and life; peace and happiness.

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