Happiness

Another birthday went by. The realization that things are not exactly the way you’d like them to be hits harder and harder these days. This may or may not have been made worse by the fact that I had to spend my birthday writing a final paper. Whatever happened to birthdays being the one day out of the year where you got to do anything and everything you wanted to? You know the drill- mom cooks your favorite meal, you’re allowed to miss school, watch cartoons until noon, etc.

I guess I’m an adult now and things are not quite the same. Sure, I could have spent my day not writing my paper and risk failing a class. But the consequences outweigh the benefits by tons of tons. So I declined every invitation to go out in order to make sure I get a decent grade on that paper.

But this is just a symptom. My family is not doing well these days. By default, that carries over onto me. No matter how hard I try to not let it bother me, it simply does. You worry about those you care about, it’s hard-proven science (it might not be, so don’t quote me on this). The problem is not the worrying about the family, but rather worrying about the family when I’m going through one of the most stressful times in my life. These things get to you.

So today I did what the most rational person in my generation would do, I Googled “why don’t I feel happy with my life.” The majority of results were useless. Forums of people saying the kind of thing I’d say: “look at the bright side of things!” But what should we do if the bright side is not appealing anymore?

Luckily I did find an article about how humans are ironic beings because we want to be happy yet we rarely do things that make us happy (I forgot what article it was, so if you’re the author, tell me and you’ll get full credit). So I wrote a list of things that I could think of that I knew made me happy (besides my wife). Since I know you’re dying of curiosity, this is what the list looked like (there is no particular order):

What makes me happy (besides my wife)?

  • Playing soccer.
  • Reading for pleasure.
  • Watching football games.
  • Going to the movies.
  • Walking/running.
  • Doggies.
  • Writing [both blogging and creative (scripts and short stories)]
  • Learning to play an instrument (at one point, this was drumming).
  • Conversing.
  • Shopping.
  • Sitting outdoors (in a park setting…)
  • Working out (when nothing hurts).
  • TV, sometimes. (One Tree Hill, Friday Night Lights, Glee, Grey’s Anatomy, Desperate Housewives, Saturday Night Live, Family Guy).
  • Tennis (I know, I was surprised too).
  • Plays (theater).
  • Videogames.

Two things struck me as odd when I ran out of things to list. First, blogging was in this list (which may explain why I’m here tonight). And second, I realized that I don’t really do most of the things on this list. It is true that I’ve been sick all quarter so my time has been more limited than usual- but in reality, I don’t engage in most of these things because of lack of time or money. Ironic, isn’t it?

I shared the list with my wife who insists I pick a bullet point per week and do it. There is a chance I will try this, but we all know how trying to put things in your schedule work versus those that just happen.

In any case, one class done, three more to go.

-Mrs. This One

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6 responses to “Happiness

  • quotidianhudsonriver

    Your wife is right…(so are you) It may not be pleasant (until you are actually doing it) but push through. The worst/best that can happen is that you will find out you DON’T enjoy something you thought you did

  • Afsal Ismail

    When you stop doing the things that make you happy, it’s time for some life restructuring. Atleast, that’s what I managed to force myself to do last time I was down in the dumps and trying to hide it. Good luck!

    • Mrs. This One

      Thank you! I really appreciate your comment. It is so easy to get caught in on something you didn’t want and then struggle to get out. But I guess the important part is to recognize that I got caught in. I’m glad you were able to resolve your own problems, when you had them.

      -MTO

  • Lovelyiskey

    Yea. I just graduated college in may….and for a long time (like…until last week), life has simply been primarily about duties and surviving, little fun outside of watching 24 on Netflix. I haven’t really restructured enough to fill my life with those types of things…but I’m making more room for them. My dad asked me a few months ago if I had a social life. *ouch*. I do….but made that kind of a dutiful thing as well and was often too physically/emotionally drained to enjoy it lol.

    Also..”cheers” to google searches!

    • Mrs. This One

      See, I just recently came to understand my problem better. Sorta like you, I stopped looking at what was next. In some sort of way, I lost purpose. I felt like I had everything I ever wanted, and that was it. So I’ve thought about some things I’d like to do with my life and my mood has certainly changed a bit since then.

      Congratulations on graduating, by the way!

      -MTO

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