I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about my life lately. I’ve thought a lot about where I’ve been, where I’m going, what I’m doing in my life right now. But the biggest question that keeps coming up is, “Am I happy?” The general answer to that question is “No.”
Happiness can be defined by so many things. The hard part is figuring out which of those things really matters to you deep down. When I look down the list of the things that really matter to me, the scale of happiness becomes quite a mixture.
I read a blog post earlier today (and I can’t for the life of me remember where) about a person who made the choice to quit her part-time job. She didn’t make any formal plans as to how she would spend her extra time that was previously consumed by that job. Instead, she chose to just relax and enjoy her new free time. The blogger noted that it resulted in an overall happier mood. Wow, did that get me thinking.
I constantly feel like I am running on overdrive. It seems like there is always something left undone at the end of the day. I over-commit myself. I hate saying no when someone asks me to do something, so I say yes even though I know I don’t have the time for it. Plus, I am lazy. I am lazy at work. I am lazy at home. It isn’t the kind of lazy where I just sit around doing nothing (how nice would that be?), but instead I tend to neglect the things that need done in favor of doing the things I want to do (like blogging).
The end result is that I don’t follow through with things. Many projects end up done sloppily or sometimes are never fully completed. I put things off until the last minute and then rush to throw them together. It leaves me feeling incompetent and I’m sure doesn’t impress others much.
The laziness flows over into my personal life as well. I don’t take care of my home, my finances, or my family the way that I feel like I should. I don’t even take care of myself the way I should. I certainly don’t take care of my husband the way that I should. I always find myself saying, “I just don’t have time for that.” But why don’t I have time? Why don’t I have time to snuggle on the sofa with my husband in the evenings after Zach is in bed asleep? Why don’t I have time to prepare a healthy meal for my family? Why don’t I have time to exercise and take care of my body? Why don’t I have time to create a budget and financial plan? How do other people do it?
I wish I had someone to give me the answers to all of those questions. I don’t know how to get myself back on track. I feel like I am constantly being pulled in fifty different directions and I’m just not that stretchy. The only way to find more time to do the things I need to do is to cut out the things that I enjoy doing. Will that help me find happiness or will that just make it worse?
I try to think back to a time when I life was easier and I felt happy and carefree. I don’t ever remember a time that I was 100% happy, but I remember times when I felt content to just be. I wonder why I can’t find that contentment now. Why do I feel the need to fill every waking moment with some kind of project or activity. Why is it so hard for me to just sit and watch TV or a movie without my hands moving or my thoughts drifting away?
One of the things that I know about myself is that I take pride in my accomplishments. When I was in school, accomplishments were easy. I was an overachiever for the most part, and I was rewarded for that by good grades, honor rolls, and various scholarships and awards. There was something tangible that I could hold in my hand to show my success. In real life, however, success and accomplishments are so different. I wonder if part of the reason I feel like I must always be doing something more is that I am searching for something to be proud of. Am I compensating for my failures in life (and there are many) by trying to take on more than I can handle? Is all of this a direct result of my own insecurities?
There are so many questions that run through my head. I constantly contemplate whether giving up some of the things I love will result in a higher level of happiness or if it would just make me more resentful and unhappy in the end. I guess it all comes down to figuring out what it is that truly makes me happy. For me there is no black or white on this issue. Instead it is a mixture of various shades of gray.
So, am I happy? Not completely. The scale tips from day to day. Do I want to be? Absolutely. I just have to find a way to make the changes in my life that will allow me to be.