If Only ….

9 Jul

Someone asked me recently what it was that would bring me happiness and that got me thinking, hard.   Should it be that hard to work out?  I’m not sure.  But I realised that so many of the things I think will make me happy seem to be linked to ‘if only’ …

  • if only I could lose the weight I’d be happy with me
  • if only I could get promotion/do all my to do list/find the dream job I’d be happy with my work
  • if only I could meet a wonderful man I’d be happy
  • if only I could run that big race/break a pb/learn a language/tell people what I really think/cook a 5 star meal/find the perfect pair of jeans/fly across the atlantic in a balloon/prove who killed JFK …. get the picture?

It always seems so dependent on that elusive ‘something’.  But how can that work, because what happens if you don’t achieve that weight loss, or balloon ride or whatever it is you’ve pinned that happiness on?  Does it mean you can’t ever be happy?  Each goal that isn’t achieved another piece of proof that you are a failure?Do you just label yourself a loser and sink one more rung down a self-created ladder of depression?

I thought I was happy.  I’d had the broken marriage, followed by the wild times, followed by the wanting to be with someone to love and share my life with.   Then I got that, I built that whole lifestyle and it really did seem like happiness.  But then things change and you realise it was an illusion, like vaseline over the lens, and someone gives it a scrub with windolene and you look at things without the soft focus.  What then?

If I look at all the things I think I want and which I think will make me happy – I had all them, but I knew deep down that it wasn’t what I wanted and that I wasn’t happy.  I thought I’d glimpsed proper happiness, but it was fleeting.  Now, either I’m a completely ungrateful cow who just doesn’t know when she’s well off (and, trust me, that thought has gone through my head more than once, probably more than 100 times!) or I just have my happiness pinned on something too elusive and ‘dependent’.

I’m not even going to pretend I have any answers yet.  I’ve read things on living in the moment, I’ve seen the glib catch phrases and motivational sayings – can a solution ever be summed up in 140 characters?  But they just leave me thinking ‘but how?  tell me HOW?’  How do I go confidently in the direction of my dreams?  how do I live the life I’ve imagined?  how do I build the door for opportunity to knock on?   What do half these things MEAN??  This probably all sounds a bit impatient – and as someone who has to read the last few pages of a book before they can enjoy the book, I will admit that I am impatient and I want to KNOW.    Do other people think this?  Do they just get the package that should make them happy and convince themselves that they are; or are they genuinely, wonderfully, gloriously happy?  If there ever is an ‘if only’ is that just crushed under alcohol, or food, or training, or shopping or any of the other things I know I’ve used in the past to knock the doubts away?   Maybe they do, perhaps I am just greedy and ungrateful and impatient?

If you’re waiting for some momentous revelation (or catch phrase that forms the basis of a best seller!), sorry, there isn’t one.   As I said, I don’t have any answers.  Not yet.  Maybe that is a step forward, admitting I don’t know at least is facing up to the thought that I need to be more accepting of my failings and my flaws and accept that finding a ‘solution’ to them isn’t necessarily going to make me happy.  That it might put a nice bit of wrapping paper and a bow around the package, but the same package is under there.   I’m not going to use this as an excuse to not have goals or aspirations, I still need to live and to live a healthy life, so those things I’ve talked about in the past still apply.  But I need to not pin my happiness on achieving them and take that pressure off a little bit.   For now, I just have a lot of thinking to do, not least figuring out whether I am just greedy for wanting proper, true happiness and that I should just settle for ‘almost happy’  or whether I’m ok with holding out until I work out what it is that makes me truly happy and how to live that life.

Don’t think I can skip to the back of the book on this one.

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One Response to “If Only ….”

  1. Christine Wood July 9, 2012 at 6:47 pm #

    I don’t have any pearls of wisdom, or answers for you either. However, I do love your blogs. You have such a thought provoking, insightful, honest and witty way of writing. Serious question….. Have you thought about putting them I to a book and self publishing? Xx

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