Wednesday, July 24, 2013

the secret to happiness


One of my quests this year has been to learn more about happiness. I have such a full life but somehow always find myself feeling dissatisfied. Then I feel bad for not being happier and the cycle continues. It's sick.

One of the things that I love and hate most about myself is my desire for adventure. I love change, I love to try new things and more than anything I love to travel. I would spend every spare penny on a plane ticket if it were only up to me. As fun as that is, it just isn't the best recipe for a satisfied life and a happy marriage.

For the first few years of my marriage I found myself resenting Jim and thinking getting married young was getting in the way of my dreams. So silly. After learning more about the "me generation" and our belief that we can do anything I also found out that we are the most dissatisfied generation. I always knew I could do anything but I never knew I couldn't do everything. I started to realize that my hunger for more was leaving me more and more dissatisfied and making everyone around me feel like they weren't good enough for my dreams. What a jerk.

So what is the secret to happiness? I have no idea. I have been watching documentaries, reading books and articles just trying to find contentment (maybe thats the secret after all?). I have learned a lot but still have such a long way to go.

My first action step toward finding contentment was canceling my trip to Europe. I have been dreaming of a trip to Europe since high school and it really became an idol in my life. If only I make it to Europe then I matter, then I am sophisticated, then I am complete. Not true. I have travelled all over (Africa 2 times, Costa Rica 4, Jamaica 3 and so on) who am I to not be satisfied? I knew the only way to get over this idea of achievement was to choose. As long as my goals stayed the way they were I was never going to find happiness. I also knew that as long as traveling, going back to school and having all these ridiculous dreams were such a big part of me, I was going to resent Jim and one day our children. So I cancelled our trip. Now what? I have no clue. I do find myself feeling oddly relieved. This doesn't mean I am never going to see the Louvre or go back to school but it does mean that I am finally making a choice and can no longer feel like a victim plagued by "if only's". I am choosing family, choosing to count my blessings and choosing what feels like peace.


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7 comments:

  1. Love this. I was particularly drawn to the "me generation" being the most dissatisfied generation yet; it drove home how it really isn't about "me just living for me", but looking towards others first.
    You're the bee's knees.

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    1. Thanks Diana! I think I'm finally growing up...

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  2. I think that is the hardest lesson to learn in life - to just be happy and content with where you are in life. I find it easier to make a mental decision to wake up and just enjoy what today brings, not what happened yesterday or what could happen tomorrow, just today, just this moment. When you live for the day and focus on the ones surrounding you, I find myself happier and much more optimistic. Boy, it's a tough thing to do, but I'm still learning.

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    1. I so agree! I am happy I am learning this but it can be tough! Sometimes I just have to try and turn my wandering mind off and focus on now.

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  3. Such an amazing post. Thanks for your vulnerability.

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  4. Great post that I can definitely relate too. I feel very lucky for my life and generally happy - but deep inside I am NEVER satisfied. It's so true that we are a "me" generation and the most dissatisfied one. Funny too that one of the things I that I feel is holding me back from fulfillment is being able to travel more - sometimes I want to quit my job just to travel the world! :) I really appreciated reading your insights on the subject!

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    1. I'm so glad to hear I'm not the only one! Trying everyday to be more satisfied with the little things!

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