Last Friday I was talking to a friend that I ran into at the gym. We talked about men, Jiu Jitsu, working out and work. As we were talking about a professional situation, I made the statement that “It doesn’t make me happy enough.” Now, I believe that said friend is very smart and gives great insight on different situations. The look on her face when I said that read disgust. In my head, she looked at me like I was a naive 25 year old who had no idea how the world worked. She probably did not mean it like that, but it made me take a step back nonetheless. I immediately tried to explain myself and that I did not mean that my happiness should be above all else in every situation. Only that I meant that maybe the current situation isn’t the right place for me. She went on to tell me that no situation is perfect. That her current situation is also not perfect but she tries to make the best of it every single day. I felt like a naive 25 year old, who had no idea how the world worked.
For the days to come, the words “happy enough” ran through my head a million times. The thought that maybe I was being totally ungrateful also popped up. The advice that I give about “be happy with what you have while working for more” has been something that has been totally lost on me over the past few weeks.
I went to a book store yesterday and as I was looking for a planner, I saw an inspirational quote calendar. The very first quote was “Life does not have to be perfect to be wonderful.” All the thoughts about being happy enough came rushing back. The next quote was “Some people dance in the rain. Some just get wet.” Gah. Thank you calendar for dropping the truth bombs on me. I sat in the bookstore for 15 minutes just contemplating if I was just being a brat. The answer was yes. I’ve spent SO much time complaining about my current situation that I have not even been grateful for it at all. Although it is far from being ideal, I realized that I would not be in this position if it wasn’t an important stepping stone in my life. I’ve also been trying to figure out a way to put what I learned from a look and a calendar into an intelligible article, but it’s harder than it seems.
Have you ever gotten so wrapped up in the fact that you aren’t “happy enough” or that something isn’t “enough” that you forget how to be even a little happy? The “not enough-ness” of one thing leaks into every other aspect of your life? This negative thought is like a cancer that spreads into all the things that DO make you happy. It’s irritating really. You are usually so happy and thankful, but *insert situation* just isn’t fair. Then one day you get slapped in the face by a look and quote from an overpriced calendar and you wonder how did you let something so small turn into something so big?
I think we have all been there. Where we realize nothing will ever be perfect, but that doesn’t mean we can’t be happy. Where we realize that we have been taking things for granted. So what do you do next?
For me, I made a few lists. Yes, I know. I am not original. But it worked. My first list was of all the things in my life that piss me off and that aren’t fair. When I really stopped and wrote it down, there were like 3 things on that list. Seriously. THREE things were making me this unhappy and stressed. Geez. Brat. My next list was of all the things that made me happy. There were 20+ things on this list. 20 vs 3. You do the unhappy math. It equals brat. The next list I made was of all the things I wanted out of life. Not just financially, but mentally, physically, and spiritually. There were a lot of things on this list as well, but when I compared my happy list to my goal list, I realized I already had quite a few of the things already. What an eye opener. My negative thinking stopped me from realizing how many great things were standing right in front of me.
I think sometimes happiness is choice just like anything else in life. I think the old adage of looking on the bright side, although sometimes annoying and played out, still rings true today. If you think there is no bright side, just make your own list and see what happens.