Yesterday, my wife and I had a comical exchange on a deep topic. Dorit started "I don't want my children to be happy, I want them to have a purpose in life." I replied "I don't need my children to have a purpose, I want them to be happy," then I paused and said "of course, you need a purpose to be happy, otherwise it's all pretty aimless." Dorit looked at me and more or less said "doh!" She was running ahead of me in expressing that the pursuit of happiness as an aim itself is self-defeating. However, by finding purpose and pursuing that, happiness can follow.
Hannah (age 13), who was listening in, waited until the end and quoted back to us the key teenager-gets-to-quote-out-of-context-phrase "I knew it, you guys don't want us to be happy." She said it with a big grin - she scored her point, but she had heard ours.
It's three weeks to the Hazon NY Ride, and between now and then I have a (short) out-of-town business trip, and a five day family vacation. My training, which is really about logging hours on the bike, now needs to be as carefully scheduled as all the other things that I fit into my time.
Add to this the fact I am working to get Hannah ready to ride as well, and she is away an extra four days during this time, and you have another layer of complexity.
This is the spot where I could lament the carefree days of my youth, where recreation was just that. On the other hand, without the goal ahead of me, I would certainly not be having so much fun with the training, the blogging, and hanging out with Hannah.
All in all, purpose brings happiness.