Tuesday, July 14, 2009

When did happiness become such work?

Why is it that we've never really happy? I don't mean the HA-HA kind of happy that comes with enjoying a good time with friends. I'm talking about the kind of happy that you feel in the marrow of your bones on a constant basis. The happy that brings complete and total contentment.

It seems that we've all become so busy either trying to keep up with the "Jones", climbing that career ladder, or making sure that someone else in our life is happy that we really forget what "happy" means to and for us.

Before MS started misbehaving and deciding IT was going to try to control my life, I was one busy lady. I had just married the man I waited over 43 years to find. I had a job that....well, while it paid very well (allowing me to keep up with the Jone's), it also consumed an average of 60 hours of my life each week. I was very active in my church and was an expert at juggling my time and energy to make everyone happy.

Then, due to the stress of my ears and a fall, (just 6 weeks after I got married) MS found the opportunity to step up and step in. Boy did it ever. I suddenly found myself completely unable to work and my life was (and still is) filled with MD appointments, constant pain and therapy. Instead of being an expert at juggling my time and energy to maintain a job, a home and keep everyone happy, I now spend my time wishing I HAD the energy to juggle everything. Now I fight with insurance companies as well as my own emotions, frustrations and pain. Fortunately, while I've had to drastically change habits, I haven't lost my home or a vehicle. However, what I have lost was worth so much more. Independence, running, heck walking for that matter. I lost the ability to come and go as I please. I even lost the ability to clean my own home. I can't remember what it was like to have a day when my back didn't hurt.

Things I took completely for granted. Always assuming I'd wake up every morning secure in the knowledge that as long as I did my job, it would be there. That I would get out of bed and be able to walk and run. That a girlfriend and I could spontaneously plan to meet for lunch (on one of the rare days I wasn't doing something else), that somehow in the course of my busy day I'd figure out a way to keep everyone happy.

Looking back now I realize that I HAD everything to make me happy. A great relationship ( I thank God everyday for the fact I still have that relationship), friends, family and the ability to walk and run. A job that more than paid the bills. Yet, I always felt I had to do more, BE more. I new that if I just kept chasing that brass ring one day I'd catch it. THEN I'd REALLY be happy.

I read and hear people saying the same things I said, "if only I made more money", "if only I had a nicer car, if only I was thinner, if only I could have my boobs done". Is that really what we as a society think happiness is all about. That THAT is what happiness really is? When did happiness become such work?

Now, through the experiences I've had over the last 14 months, I've learned that my own personal happiness is simply based on this. Time. It's time spent with my husband, doing nothing. It's time spent laughing with a girlfriend over a cup of coffee. The time to enjoy the smiles of grand babies and the laughter of older grandchildren as they spend their time with me. It's time spent with the family and friends who love me. That's it. Nothing else matters. THAT is what being happy really is. I had the brass ring the entire time .


Herrad said...

Hi Kimberly,

Good post thanks for sharing how you feel and what you have to deal with.


MS. ME said...