Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Happiness: Where has it gone?

     I just started reading a book called "The Happiness Project", by Gretchen Rubin. I have to say I really like what I've read so far. Here is the synopsis on the back cover, since I think it gives a better description than I can:
"Gretchen Rubin had an epiphany one rainy afternoon in the unlikeliest of places: a city bus. 'The days are long, but the years are short', she realized. 'Time is passing, and I'm not focusing enough on the things that really matter.'In that moment, she decided to dedicate a year to her happiness project. 

In this lively and compelling account, Rubin chronicles her adventures during the twelve months she spent test-driving the wisdom of the ages, current scientific research, and lessons from popular culture about how to be happier. Among other things, she found that novelty and challenge are powerful sources of happiness; that money can help buy happiness, when spent wisely; that outer order contributes to inner calm; and that the very smallest of changes can make the biggest difference."

     So as I sit here eating a bowl of Cheerios, no milk, I can't help but wonder about my own happiness. If I look at my life as a whole, I'd probably say I was content. Looking at different aspects of my life though, I would say differently.

     My family, my boyfriend, and my dog? I'm extremely happy, I couldn't start to think about my life without them. Work, school, how I feel most days? Not so great. I do like my job, but it is part-time and it isn't what I plan on doing for the rest of my life. The job search is more difficult than ever right now, and for a student almost ready to graduate with very little experience...well you get the picture.  School? I'm at a crossroads right now about whether or not to get my graduate, and I am not even sure what I'd go for yet. Plus, I technically should have been graduating this May but alas it won't happen until December.

     As far as how I feel? Honestly, I feel like crap. I've been physically drained and emotionally drained. I am always tired because I'm constantly running from thing to thing. I'm always in pain because of my Fibromyalgia plus my shoulder hasn't been getting better as fast as I'd hoped. I don't complain to much about it, maybe a comment here or there, but I know that complaining does nothing good for me.

     So maybe Gretchen Rubin is on to something. Maybe we should all take the time to examine our happiness and make a plan to fix what we are unhappy with. As I am starting to learn from her book, most problems come from within. We can't change anyone else, but we can change ourselves and that may be a project I have to take on.

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