Fiendish Friday : Unhappiness

Not too long ago a friend of mine texted me because she was reading some book about happiness and felt that she was not as happy as she should be. I don’t remember which book because it wasn’t important to me. But our text conversation about the causes of unhappiness did stick with me.

I think the problem is as follows: My generation was told we could do anything we wanted if only we worked hard enough at it. Which somehow as we age has become if I just work harder I can do everything. And of course everything is not actually possible. So we feel like failures and we strive harder. And keeping our nose to the grind stone, all we see is that grindstone. We miss the beauty.

So where did I come by this idea? When I moved here, I knew no one. I had no where I had to go, no obligations I had to fill, no friends I needed to see/help/spend time with. It was just the fam and me. Life got SLOW. Very, very SLOW. So SLOW in fact that dropping everything and going to the lake for the morning was totally possible because I could always do everything later. There was always more time later. I joined the local zoo and we went every week on the way to the grocery store for a couple of hours because it filled our time with beauty. There was always more time.

Of course, eventually I made friends. And the kiddo made friends. And plans started to creep in. And then obligations started to creep in. And then this summer I found myself drowning in chaotic disaster of someone else’s making.  I had to chose what sort of person I wanted to be. Did I want to drop it all and be “happy.” Or did I want to be the sort of person who honors their commitments?

I chose to honor my commitment. Which in the short run was very painful however I got two things out of it in the long run. A) I get to be happy with the person I am. I stuck to my moral guidelines. B) I got a fab reminder why I shouldn’t say yes to everything. Just to some things. And that means I need to say “Let me think about this” first. And then I need to flipping think about it. If it costs me an opportunity, or a friendship, then so be it. Because my soul, my contentment, my ability to smile and say yeah I am happy and mean  it, is worth more than anything else.

Are you happy? Why or why not? How did you figure out how to be happy despite the ups and downs?

9 thoughts on “Fiendish Friday : Unhappiness

  1. Gratitude for what I have is the major key for me. I think about it all the time. There are always things I don’t have and won’t have, but they don’t matter and chasing them would just be exhausting. I have an abundance of what I really need. And then encouraging those around me to pursue what they enjoy and pursuing what I enjoy along side them makes happy relationships for me with little conflict.
    So I guess appreciation of what is, instead of trying to make things be otherwise, is my key. And yet somehow I seem to do plenty and add plenty to what is – but I don’t feel frustrated because I don’t force life where it doesn’t naturally go. I just add the trimmings. 🙂
    Thanks for your friendship this year, my dear. And I can honestly tell you if you never did another thing I asked our friendship would be just as strong. I appreciate YOU. The service to our group and gifts of time etc are just trimmings.

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  2. I claim only to be human with all the normal baggage (ok, some abnormal too). I’m happy. I can be a realist, reconcile with my dark side, be negative or positive, be grateful or not (but I agree with Sheri), or deal with pain and suffering; and still I may choose to be a happy person. I can still experience sadness and misery, but I can make a choice. I am happy because it’s what I want.

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  3. Happiness is a fickle thing. I say this because it’s the topic of my blog on Monday since I’m reviewing Michael Singer’s book, The Untethered Soul, and Chapter 15 happens to be entitled, The Unconditional Path of Happiness. I’m struggling with it. I do tend to put conditions on my happiness, so I’m aiming for peace. Stay tuned….and as Sheri so wisely said, “gratitude” is the most direct path to happiness. Be well, my firend.

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  4. I have to say that I am happy about most things. There are some things I am not happy about, but I am working towards changing that. I find that where I am most unhappy is work. There’s too many little things to go into to explain that in any great detail, but it’s also something I can’t readily change either – although I am slowly working on it.

    Liked by 1 person

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