Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Everything is Fine...and Nobody is Happy

I've been seeing a lot of internet memes lately with statements like "Happiness is a choice" or "If you don't like your circumstances, change them."  And I call complete and total BS, because I've also seen a lot of people struggling lately, present company included.  I don't know, maybe birds of a feather flock together, or haywire magnetic forces in the brain attract like-minded individuals, or the Spidey senses just become more attuned to those also going through shit...but I'm telling you, it's an epidemic, at least in my circles.

Without going into details, because you know, we "dysfunctional" people protect our own, there's rampant dysphoria wreaking havoc on those around us who smile through their days, kick ass at their jobs and hobbies, and raise smiling, healthy children.  And in spite of all of those successes and asskickery, there is still misery to be had, and in some of the most surprising places.  Trust me.

In the last few weeks, I've had the joy of finding kindred spirits and steadfast friends in the least expected of places, and it has had a profound effect on me.  I'm not one to go seeking solace in others or crying on shoulders.  I suck it up, put on a smile, or at the very least, the dreaded Resting Bitch Face, and go about my day.  I didn't purposefully seek out these interactions...but they still happened, completely out of the blue.  And I'm really grateful they did, for several reasons.  One, it's always good to have someone to talk to.  Two, it's reassuring to know that other people have less than perfect lives, no matter what it looks like on Facebook.  (Don't get me started.)  And third...well, there's just strength in numbers, and not in the building-an-army sense.  

But the point is, I don't think happiness is a choice...because why the HELL wouldn't everyone just choose to be happy? It's not a light switch, and if it is, then mine shorted out somewhere along the line and only flickers when it wants to--sometimes, that connection is there...and other times...it's just not.  And I'm not telling secrets here...it's going to come as no surprise to anyone that's known me longer than six days (OK, six MINUTES!) that I'm a moody bitch.  And I'm beyond filters or really caring what people think, other than my kid and a few select others, so, here are my thoughts, in no particular order...

Happiness is temporary.  Enjoy the HELL out of it when it happens, because the memory of it might just get you through a hard time.

You might have to lower your standards and expectations.  Expectations lead to disappointment, and disappointment leads to sadness.  I know, that sounded like Yoda.  He was a smart little dude.  

Do the things that make you happy more often.  If it's sleep, take a nap.  If it's singing, belt it out LOUD!  If it's a huge glass (or TWO) of wine in bed with the dog, drink UP! 

Rarely can you make yourself happy and not rock the boat or make waves or whatever euphemism you choose to use.  If it makes you happy to jump in the water, just jump.  Those that get splashed will dry off and deal with it.  They might be pissed off temporarily, but if they truly care about your happiness, they'll be excited that you jumped.  

Have backup plans.  Stuff falls apart, all the time.  And if you're left holding nothing when it all goes to hell, you're going to be unhappy.  Have a backup plan to cushion the disappointment.  

Don't be afraid to make your happiness out of whatever you choose.  It might not look like someone else's...hell, it might not look like anyone else's.  But that doesn't matter.  Be you.

Be prepared to take your own advice.  Listen to your heart, your gut, your instincts, and don't be a chickenshit.  Fear is more powerful than happiness and only gets in the way.

Exercise.  Even when you don't feel like it...especially then.  And if a donut will help you survive the day, eat the damn thing without kicking yourself later.

Stop comparing yourself.  Stop comparing your body, your house, your car, your family...just stop. You're the only one that cares, and you shouldn't.  They're all screwed up, too, I promise.

Make your list.  Do them.  


1 comment:

Renae said...

Thank you for sharing! I think it was Poe that said 'Expectation is the root of all disaapointment' (paraphrasing.) I'm finding that to be very true. I don't feel like I'm lowering my standards though. It's more about finding happiness in the content moments too. Just because something just 'is' doesn't mean it is unpleasant. That's been my life lesson this week anyway...

Xoxo