I’ve been toying with a few posts in my head for the last few weeks but I just can’t seem to get the words right. It’s hard when you want to be witty, concise, wise, and anecdotal all at the same time. You know, just your average blog post.
Anyhow, I think I’m going to give up on trying to write An Ultimate Post because wanting to seems to ensure that it will never happen. Instead, I bring you a few not-so-witty, not-so-concise thoughts about happiness.
I don’t know how else to say this: we have just been really happy lately. Husband has been managing to finish a lot of his teacher duties at school, and as a result he is really home at the end of the day and on the weekend. Consequently, we have been able to cook leisurely meals, play all together with play-dough, jump on the bed, take Camilla out for surprise breakfasts, go for walks in the evening, and fun things like that. Life is good, as the bumper sticker says (see Ecclesiastes for details).
The other night, as I sat on the bed with a contented baby gnawing on my finger and watched my husband and daughter hide in the closet, I realized that I was just so happy the way things were right then. Having nicer sheets on the bed, blue paint in the walls, cuter clothes on my kids, or being 15 pounds lighter would in no way increase the happiness I felt right then.
And then I came up with this theory.
I have always had a problem with envy. Whether it’s other peoples’ stuff, personalities, bodies, or bank accounts, I find that I very often believe my life would be better if I could change a few things. Not the most important things, mind you, just the peripherals. But I think we all know that getting one thing you want doesn’t lead to lasting contentment because you just move on to the next one. (I had a light bulb moment once when I sat in my living room looking at rugs on the internet and realized that, at one point, I had wanted everything in that room just as badly as I wanted that new rug. And then I had gotten it. And there I was, still wanting the new rug.)
So my theory is that I (we?) really only think getting a new thing will make us happy when we don’t have very many moments of true, happy contentment in our lives. (I think C.S. Lewis called it “joy.”) The more contentment and happiness we experience, the more we realize that having more or different stuff is just irrelevant.
So there you go. It’s just a thought.