On Mindful Monday, my readers and I practice the art of pausing, TRYING to be still, or considering, ever so briefly, the big picture. We’re hoping this soul time will provide enough peace of mind to get us through the week!

I’m about to confess something that I know will be judged by some as negative or morbid or dangerously passive, but I think a few of you may understand it and might even find it refreshing to hear.

My two main goals in life are 1) to stay out of the psych ward and 2) to die of natural causes … that is, to resist the desire as strong as it is at times, to end my life prematurely.

Those are my two goals.

They don’t include anything about finding happiness, even as I’m intrigued by all the happiness studies. They don’t involve my family (other than being the best mom and wife I can be) or my career (aside from not plagiarizing) or any of the things that define me here on the planet Earth. All I want is to get to the end … naturally … and be somewhat satisfied with how I did: that I tried to help others not truncate their lives, as well, so that they might live out some of God’s plans for them.

I guess my goal for life is the same as the one for my triathlon that I ran two years ago: to simply finish.

I realize to many that sounds as though I’ve resigned.

Trust me, I haven’t.

I work at my recovery as hard as anyone I know. From the moment my eyes open in the morning to the last second of consciousness before I fall asleep, I am working tirelessly toward sanity and serenity. With every breath I take, every job I do, and every meal I eat, I am trying to move my body and mind toward good health. And absolutely nothing I do in my day is done without regard to my recovery program. It is my number-one priority, as I know that if I don’t invest all of my energy into it, I could very easily land in that place where I think that ending my life makes perfect sense.

Mark Twain once wrote that, “Sanity and happiness are an impossible combination.”

I’m not sure I would go that far. I do have many happy moments. But I’ve given up on trying to buy happiness like it’s a sundress on sale at a boutique. I think that some of the happiness exercises by experts like Gretchen Rubin can go a long way in helping us to maintain sanity. And maintaining sanity is really all I’m after. To stay out of the hospital and the coffin for as long as possible.

I’m not ashamed of this anymore. Because I know many people feel the same way. It has nothing to do with not trying hard enough or turning our backs on enlightenment. The mystics and saints … the most spiritual minds in history … came to the same conclusions. Perhaps St. Augustine said it best when he wrote, “You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our hearts are restless until they rest in you.”

I’m restless.

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