The funny thing is that was the way I thought when I was mormon. I could never be perfect, so why bother? I could never be happy because I had to be so damn valiant in the pre-existence that I got "rewarded" by being born into weirdsville.
Life has so much more meaning now. Maybe I'm the only one who feels that weird dynamic. But I often think about where I thought I would be at the age of 62 (and proud of it) when I was mormon. Best case scenario would have been something that I'd probably kill myself now if I had to go back to. But then again, maybe I'd be like most TBMs who are happy with their situation. If I hadn't known anything else, I'd probably be content.
Living is easy when the beer is cold and the sunsets are golden and sweetness and delight are ever at hand by gazing into a loved one's eyes.
My sense is that your question is asked, and usually only gets asked, when living isn't so easy. Why bother then, what's the point then? Good question.
One answer is the point then is to remove the impediments to whatever your equivelants are for beers babies and burgers. You bother because you want to get back to your favourite Bs, so to speak. That's the point.
That's easy. Harder is when the question is asked and one's own Bs haven't a point anymore in themselves. When another smile or Kokanee or golden ending of a day do nothing for you anymore, what then? What's the point of living when what the point use to be is no longer meaningful. Why bother then?
That's a much harder question, and I think the question you may be asking.
I have thoughts on that. Maybe I can poke it out later.
Beer, food, sex, weed (where its legal of course), retirement, tv, movies, airplanes, cartoons, Burger King, steak, baseball (good for naps), making fun of Mormons and bashing god in front of believers is kind of fun. And my best friend, my wiener dog.
There is no point--if you don't care, which comes from within.
Evolution has gifted us with a life force as we are part of the intricate system of this planet as it has unfolded. You can use it for good or evil, but if you don't use it, then there is no point. The world has no need for human slugs.
I'm having a good day today, so I'm okay. My dogs give me a reason to go on. My kids give me a reason to go on. Even if I'm having trouble with my TBM daughter, she still needs me and I know that. My son really needs me and sometimes I realize that maybe my daughter needs me more.
So here I am.
Today, I forced myself to go to Brigham City and change the flowers on my parents' grave. That's my job. I took it on after they died. I enjoy finding nice flowers to go on their grave, but life has been kind of crappy and chaotic and I've put it off.
Sardine Canyon is absolutely gorgeous right now. What a beautiful dtive that was. I took my dogs after we went for a double long walk (I am one of those who over does everything for those I love and they need to lose some weight). I went to Maddox and got some food for lunch for my son and I. And now I'm going to work for a whole 2 hours and fill out a questionnaire for another job that just contacted me.
Like others have said, I also like TV. I LOVE movies. My dad took us to movies and my mom sent us to matinees every Saturday. We couldn't get candy because they didn't have the money, but we got to go to the movies for 25 cents. So I LOVE MOVIES.
In the really bad years, I had to look for what I called my tiny miracles. My dog at the time was one of those. My first dog that was mine and he was ALL MINE. He loved me so. And he got killed. That was the worst dday of my life, just over 20 years ago. And I made it. I made it here. I raised my kids. I buried my parents and 3 other dogs. And I'm still here.
"The purpose of life is to be happy." -- The Dalai Lama
You get to define what happiness means to you.
There will be hard times. The best advice to get through hard times is, "this too will pass."
There may be trauma. The passage of time along with love and care are good ways to cope with trauma.
The essence of the life force is creativity. I've watched the TV show "Project Runway" over the years. On this shoe, budding clothing designers are mentored by Tim Gunn, who once served on the faculty of the highly-regarded Parsons School of Design in NYC. He has an expression for any burgeoning disaster -- "Make it work." You don't have enough fabric? The colors clash? Your model doesn't have the figure that you thought she might have? The clock is running out?
MAKE IT WORK. Figure it out. Life is like that as well. It's not going to be perfect. There will be mistakes, missteps, and disasters. Make it work. Some wonderful results have emerged from less than stellar components. Sometimes we are much better off for not having everything perfect to begin with.
Much to my amazement, one of the happiest times of my life was after I suffered a severe leg and ankle injury. I was home for four months, and it was at times terribly painful. But I remember it as being overall a happy time. I didn't mind my constraints. I found happiness in spite of them. My life became simple. I learned a lot from that experience.
You can find happiness during the most unexpected times.
And just to show that I have a mean, vindictive streak, I want to outlive the unspeakable creature that I was married to for 17 long years, every one of them miserable except when he was away, keeping the world safe from Vietnam.
I am very happily married now, and that makes life good.
But way down deep, I feel as if I will be on borrowed time once the @$$hole from way back then is 6 feet under. I want to send a bouquet of black roses - tied with a black ribbon - to his funeral. And a note to his adulterous widow: "Hope it was worth it, you adulterous b!tch."
Your post generated some great replies!! Some funny, others more poignant. Believe me, I have asked myself this very question hundreds of times since having my stroke in 2012. Since I have a sister in Oregon, I even asked her about that state's physician-assisted suicide requirements. Suffice it to say, I don't qualify(even if I were to move there and live with her for the required period of time). IMO, and in my circumstance, the end can't come soon enough.
Same, i feel assisted suicide should be legal for those with incurable ailments such as chronic pain and mental illnesses. People dont want us in society and we dont want to be here either just suffering day after day, well some of us dont want to be here suffering for decades before old age.
The experience of being alive is to have "golden" moments, which you yourself create. In order to do that, you have to find out who you are and what you might enjoy. There are many, many choices of how to experience joy in life.
As Mormons we were taught our purpose here was to find the gospel, and once we did that, keep from disqualifying ourselves from the life of real joy, which is the afterlife.
Now that we reject the Mormon dismissal of earthly life, we rejoin humanity in the search for meaning. You can look around you and see right before you the incredible diversity that answer brings. There is no one-size-fits-all plan that fits everyone. Nothing could be more obvious, palm to forehead.
Just because you are delayed in the process of individuation doesn't mean it isn't going to be the most exciting journey you will ever take. In fact, in some ways, it makes it even more exciting because here you are a grown ass adult who doesn't know what their free choices are--like what kind of alcohol, what brand of coffee, what political affiliation, what kind of weekend activity, and so many more choices.
There is one starting point for all of us--INTUITION. You have it for you. It's not revelation from some outside source, it's your own wisdom for your self. Follow it. Are you a reader? Start at the bookstore or library. Are you a film buff? Start with some documentary memberships.
Start researching interests you have had to put aside because all your spare time was taken up by church attendance and church callings. As you follow your own intuition, it will grow stronger. You will meet people with similar interests.
One of my friends had an impulse to go to an RV show. She ended up buying a motorhome and adopting a nomadic lifestyle taking photos wherever she went. Completely a surprise to her, although she always liked taking pictures at church events.