Not everything has to make us happy.

It was pointed out to me yesterday morning that I was a tiny bit ranty. It’s true, it’s partly my natural inability to cope with what I see as fuckwittage and also PMT, I just don’t have the energy to remember to be graceful. Everyone may be fighting a hard battle but they can bloody well remember that I’m not an idiot or a skivvy and behave accordingly. Also my language would make a sailor blush. I’m all kinds of fun to be around at the moment.IMG_2823

But it’s the ‘happy’ myth that is the particular focus of my ire today.

It’s my Christian friends that think that Jesus will fix it. Which is ridiculous, as I keep saying, “Jesus doesn’t promise to make it all better, He just promises to be with you even when it’s shit”.

It’s ‘Do what you love and you’ll never have to work a day in your life’ bollocks that gets spouted so often. Nope, if you chose to make your passion your job, you’ll just end up loving it less.

This is what set me off this week.

You know there are some things that you can decide to do that make you happy but they won’t make you happy all the time. What I love to do is lie around reading books, with occasional forays into cooking, drinking cocktails and maybe a bit of travel. That’s what would make me happy. You know what I wouldn’t love, being homeless, so I have to abandon the things that make me happy to go to work so I can earn money, so I don’t have to live on the street.

I’m pretty good at what I do for work but I don’t get excited about expenses, arranging meetings or writing reports. I take some pride in doing it as well as I can because that’s what you do, it’s what my mother taught me. You could argue that if I had different work, work that I loved, I’d be happier to be there, and maybe I would, but much of the way that society runs, relies on people doing things they don’t love. Parents love their children but no-one likes changing a nappy or being up all night with a screaming baby. Society would crumble if everyone only did what they loved or what made them happy.

We can’t be happy all the time. Emotionally, it’s not sustainable. Thinking that we should always be happy makes us discontented with the lives we have. IMG_2534

So this is my challenge. Look at your life, really look. It’s probably not perfect but if you’re reading this, you can read, you have access to the Internet, which means you probably have a computer, and a place to put it in. Which probably means you have a place to live and a job. If you have all those things, you already have a shitload of stuff to be happy about. Think about what life would be like if you didn’t have what you have. As a culture, we are so focussed on the next thing that will make us happy. If we had the perfect partner or a better job or a baby or more friends or we travelled more. If think that if we were fitter/thinner/richer/prettier our lives would be better but we’ll still be the same people and likely we wouldn’t be happier just looking for the next thing that really would make us happy.

There are things you can be other than happy. You have tons of things to be grateful for and most of the things you are unhappy about you can change.

Stop looking for happiness. Stop expecting to be happy all the damn time. There are other good emotions beside happy! Surprisingly enough, when you stop focussing on happy, you start to get happy…DSCF4898





About nicdempsey

This entry was posted in How I Live, Random, Thankful and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Not everything has to make us happy.

  1. Pingback: Life Happened – A tiny bit cross | Nic Dempsey

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