Thursday, April 14, 2011

Searching for happiness and why it matters

There's something I've been feeling like I needed to write for a long time, and I haven't been able to figure out how to say it and so it's been keeping me from saying anything else. I'm not sure how eloquent this is going to be, but I figured I might as well just get to the guts of it and see what comes after so we can all just get on with it.

I want to be happy. And so should you.

Now, I'm not saying that I'm unhappy. I realize how very fortunate I am. I am grateful for my family, for my beautiful baby girl, for my home. I am grateful that I am able to stay home, at least for now, grateful that I have always been able to pay my bills. I appreciate the things in my life and in no way mean to minimize them.

Nor am I suggesting that I need, deserve, or even want to be twirling-through-the-hills-in-Austria happy every minute of my day. I have seem a lot of people make themselves very happy seeking out that kind of happiness, which as far as I can tell,doesn't really exist. There is no perfect job, no perfect life. Having unrealistic expectations just sets you up for disappointment in the end.

And yet, and yet. There is a fundamental, to the core, happiness that I need more of in my life. The kind of happiness that emanates in everything you do, that comes from a basic satisfaction with yourself and with the way you are choosing to live. The kind of happiness where you know, even when you have a bad day and feel down, that you are on the right track and that there will be better days.

And it's important. It's as important as being a good mother, a good wife, a good friend because it informs all of those roles and improves them. Being generous of myself is something which often comes easy, but when I do it from a place of scarcity instead of abundance then it is more like martyrdom than true sharing, and honestly I don't think that serves anyone. It is more important than the money or the budget because until I am happy, I think I will be desperately and anxiously looking for more, and will never be satisfied with enough. Money won't ever fill the void of true satisfaction, but I think the converse can be true.

I'm not sure how to achieve it. I have a few ideas, but I'm not sure exactly how to synthesize it. I know the things that I can do in my life that bring my feelings of happiness, and I know the things which suck to do but give me a sense of happiness when they're finished. I know that there are issues of balance that I need to figure out, ways to do everything I need and still have time to build on myself. I know I need to cut out a lot of stuff that eats up my time and makes me feel worse in the end. And I know that it's worth the energy I invest because happiness just might be the key to everything.