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Be happy NOW (or else)

June 4, 2008

Today’s post at Crazy Aunt Purl really struck a chord with me – especially this part:

Dr. Wayne Dyer says that goals are sometimes a way to postpone happiness. You set a goal and say, “When I reach this goal I will be Happy. Period.” So you work to achieve this goal in the future. But when it arrives, you’re already on to the Next Goal and so you just keep on postponing happiness. Just like saying, “One day when I’m thin I will go on vacation.” Wouldn’t life be better if you didn’t wait to go on vacation just because of some dumb size label on your pants?

I’ve been having conversations with various friends lately about ‘my happiness.’  In this last year after my brother’s death, my happiness has become of some concern and not just to me.  I kept waiting for that moment when I’d have sorted it out and would be happy again.

  • A year from now, it’ll hurt less and I’ll be happy.
  • In a few months, the anniversary will have passed and I’ll be happy.
  • Next year I’ll work on something different and I’ll be happy
  • I’ll sell on etsy and I’ll be happy
  • I’ll learn to spin/sew/cook and I’ll be happy

It’s a viscous cycle of making bargains with yourself or expecting others – esp. relationships – to make you happy.  I’ve learned the hard way on the last one that relationships are really not designed to make you happy – you can’t rely on someone else to make you happy, no matter how much you love them or they love you.  Especially when life gets tragic.

I tend to get really wrapped up in ‘what-ifs’ and what the future will bring and am I doing the right things to bring about that future – it gets exhausting (being woken up at 5 am by claws in the face doesn’t help).  The concept of ‘living in the now’ is appealing, but difficult to get to.  Definitely food for thought.

In other news, I’m having an update in my etsy store in a few minutes.  There will be 1 or 2 more updates this month before I shut down, so stop by!

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. June 5, 2008 3:44 pm

    I’m so with you on the happiness thing. That was my mantra for so long in my life. When I was 28 I had a lot of things happen to me that made me really reflect on my life and what was happening in it. It was a catalyst for change that has stayed with me always. I found that looking for happiness instead of enjoying each moment for what it is (happy, sad alike) was the key to my sanity. (And something I need to remind myself to do each second). There’s a great book by Tara Brach called “Radical Acceptance” that helped me a lot (it’s based on insight meditation)…

    Hang in there and know that all of your thoughts, feelings and worries are perfectly normal and totally healthy!

  2. June 6, 2008 10:00 pm

    Happiness is a slippery thing. My favorite way to achieve joy is to facilitate others in their quest. For example teaching people to knit, climb, or make their own hula hoops. It forces me to enjoy my hobbies NOW while recruiting others to egg me on later.

    I have come from a profound place of loss and sometimes just going through the motions is the best one can do. But occasionally that is all you need.

    Blargh! Enough of that deep crap, what I really wanted to ask was, why are you shutting your etsy shop?!

  3. yao permalink
    June 9, 2008 6:16 am

    my suggestion on how to be happy: watch the SATC movie!

  4. June 11, 2008 10:36 pm

    That’s a good quote. I think it’s a struggle. On one hand, I think I am able to be happy, grateful for what I have, on the other hand, I do do the thing about wanting to wait on things (until I can fit into my jeans again, until I’m in shape, etc). So, I think the best I can do is aim for balance. How are you feeling today?

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