Apparently, if you’re the kind of person who keeps up with what’s popular these days, you may have heard of The Happiness Project. I came across a book review that introduced me to the concept of pursuing different ways of being happy. I still haven’t read the book (and I probably won’t), but it did spark an idea which I’ll get to in a bit.
Most people, upon meeting me, think I’m a fairly cheerful person. Other adjectives from people: happy-go-lucky, positive, upbeat, even bouncy (that is, personality-wise). While that may have been mostly accurate a decade ago, some who know me much better can vouch its a farce.
Quotes about me, to me: “you’re so negative”, “lighten up a little”, “Debbie-downer”, “look on the bright side”.
I admit, I’m addicted to being snarky. My mid-30s have revealed a side that even I have become rather disgusted with. Leaving high school, I was the typical idealistic and change-the-world innocent college student. My world consisted with classes and campus. I rarely watched the news, but instead focused on Friends and Buffy. I learned the difficulties of balancing one’s social life with studying, the laws of procrastination, and to hide at the closest Waffle House when I wanted to get away.
My mid-20s found me checking out careers and considering “what do I want to do with my life?”. My world consisted of graduate work, lots of job interviews, and learning about love, expectation, and disappointment. I learned about the politics of the work world and how having all the right qualifications didn’t guarantee anything.
As a parent and sometimes educator, my early 30s consisted of balancing have to’s vs. want to’s and feeling the weight of adult responsibility slamming onto my shoulders. My world consisted of car payments, loan payments, bills that included utilities for a house rather than an apartment, questions like “do we really need cable?”, and answers like “that’s what is for dinner, if you don’t like it, then you don’t eat.”
These days, I’d rather not read or see the news. I detest politics at every level–local, state, and federal. Even international. I abhor reality shows (exception: informative shows on History Channel, HGTV, FoodNetwork, Travel Channel, etc.). I find it difficult to take anyone seriously who actively promotes any of those things.
I’m not so much in my little world that I don’t see that this is a bad habit to hold onto. If I were an elderly person, I would (in my best elderly voice) tell my self–“For one so young, you have a very dim view of the world.” What happened? How did I go from idealistic to worse-than-pragmatic?
In the words of Barney Stinson: Challenge Accepted
My goal, at least for the rest of the year, is to try to be a tad more positive and uplifting. Maybe not so argumentative and passionate on how things suck so much.
This is going to be hard. Really. Hard.
I’ll try to update now and then, maybe even post progress.