Sunday, January 17, 2016

Deserving to be Happy


I've always struggled with this, even as a child. Being happy I mean. I think much of it had to do with the inculcated "vale of tears" philosophy of my Irish RC upbringing. The suspicious questions if I did look happy, given by all around me, teachers, priests, relatives: "And what are you looking so happy about?" as if it were a bad thing, as if I was up to no good. So yeah, happy became a burden, not to be flaunted, hidden away secretly, not talked about - I mean with all that suffering going on in the world, why would you be the one showing off there with your silly smile? Think of the starving orphans, those "Black Babies" in Africa, now wipe that grin off your face.

Shouldn't happiness be our default position in life? Allowing for the timeouts of grief and sadness and disappointment you'd think 90% of our lives should be filled with joy, bliss even. But no. I fight it at times. That old guilt thing again. Life would be better if.....only my knees didn't hurt....I had more money.....my health was better.

I was preparing a workshop today, #3 in a series I'm giving. I love this work. It is gratifying to see the large class, to be the encourager, the catalyst, the igniter at times. And I was reviewing and notating last week's homework and I realized how truly happy I was doing this work, loving this work. Not over the moon stuff, but a contentment that this is exactly the kind of life I'm meant to be living. A life that's making me happy.

I was on my occasional library shift yesterday and again, I got swept up in that feeling without being conscious of it then, as I stamped books and chatted with patrons about reading. That yes, this, this is exactly what I should be doing.

And hell, how happy is that?

19 comments:

  1. Doing things you enjoy is just what you deserve.

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  2. And life is totally far too short to do otherwise, yeah?
    XO
    WWW

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  3. Replies
    1. Recognition comes late in life for some of us, E!
      XO
      WWW

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  4. Yes. I was surprised at how excited I got when a neighbor asked me to help her brother, who needs a writing tutor. That is the one area where I'm actually a pro!
    Work and love, Freud said. But he should have added politics to that.

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    1. Community service. I love my politics at a local level and that is also contributing to my sense of wellbeing. Hattie how wonderful you got this interesting project!
      XO
      WWW

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    1. Yay, all the sweeter for late in life arrival :)

      XO
      WWW

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  6. "Deserving" of happiness doesn't come into the equation.

    My childhood experience is very different to yours. By nature a happy smiley creature my beloved grandmother (my first mother) called me (in translation): "Sunshine". So much so that everyone in the close and wider family forgot my real name,and I was "Sonnie" to everyone. HOWEVER, woe betide thee if - for good reason and years later - that smile is (intermittently) wiped off your face. Oh, dear. I tell, you WWW, people have expectations and you better not let them down.

    Other than that, and I couldn't agree more with you, "contentment" is the grail - the (w)holy grail accessible to most of us.If being content is your baseline than the odd moment of happiness is like the truffle on life's icing of our cake. Oh my dog, did I formulate that last sentence? Don't say there isn't a poet in me - full of crap.

    Good to see you upbeat,
    U

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    1. Ursula Sorry you've been so wounded in later life I hope you can find some resolution to these challenges.
      XO
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  7. Events are working overtime to compensate for other morbid events for you. I am glad that you are happy again.

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    1. Yes Ramana I was so grief stricken for so long it removes everything and I thought it was permanent.
      Thank you!
      XO
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  8. Yes....... that really does sound like the thing you're meant to be doing.
    I aim for contentment rather than happiness as that is more likely to last!
    I suppose I'm pessimistic by nature but I'm getting better at being contented.
    Maggie x

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    1. So glad Maggie, you had so many storms of lengthy duration to weather. It does sound like you're getting to the other side.
      XO
      WWW

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    1. Good to hear from you my old friend! I assume all must be well, you've had your own stuff happening.
      XO
      WWW

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  10. I am really enjoying your posts, Thank you!
    Happiness is an odd thing. If I put on a happy face I sense everyones relief that I am finally over my grief. They want you to just get over it, so I pretend. I do have moments I call happy hiccups. Like when I help someone and they are surprised then reward me with a smile. That makes me happy. I hope to move to Newfoundland after I sell my house and studio. For my 60th I gifted myself a month there and truthfully I have not been as happy since. I have never felt so emotionally happy as I did there.

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    1. Tamaya please stay in touch with me. That is exactly what happened to me, a totally visceral sense of belonging here and that was nearly 13 years ago now. Never looked back. A magical place indeed. Whereabouts here will you be moving to?
      XO
      WWW

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