As is my unfortunate habit, whenever I wake up in the dead of night or bleary light of day, the first thing I do is grab my phone and see what’s happened in the world while I was out to it.
At the crack of dawn this morning, I did just that and found that three of my Facebook friends had “read an article” (one of the new Facebook notices that cracks me up). The article that these three friends had read was called, “15 Things You Should Give Up To Be Happy.” Naturally, I attempted to click through, but apparently, I can only get 2 bars upon my pillow, so it never did load. As I drifted back off to sleep, my last coherent thought was, “I’d probably say ‘misery.'”
Let’s leave misery to the miserable. There are some people who just love to bask in it. These folks are all around us – in the office, on Twitter and on their iphones in front of us in the grocery store. They slump their shoulders and moan, “UGH, I am SOOO (fill in the blank: “bored,” “tired.” “fat,” “pissed off”). They cling tightly to their unhappiness until it’s an integral part of their identity. They post and wait in anxious anticipation for solutions, if only to dismiss the silly, peppy quick-fixes.
It’s hard for me not to feel for them, but these folks wear me down. And I think it’s because I know how hard it is not to be among them. I’m mostly a happy, one-foot-in-front-of-the-other positive person. I’m not saying I’m a rose-colored glasses wearing cheery PollyAnna, but I do appreciate that, all in all, I have a pretty good life. I work hard and I’ve been fairly lucky. But sometimes, I have really bad days. The walls crash all around me and nothing seems to go right. I stub my toe, accidentally butt-dial important clients and misspell words in crucial email blasts. I crash and burn. But instead of throwing my hands up in the air in defeat (and OH, what blissful relief that would be!!) I double my efforts, keep my head down, focus inward and “muscle through.” And soon, the wheels start turning again, the machine groans back to life, and things begin to go right again.
I think that it’s in our nature to be bested by defeat, by gloom, and unhappiness. But it’s also inherent that we fight against our nature.
And even though I’ve never read the article, in my experience, the thing I believe one must let go of to be happy….is unhappiness.