Tuesday, 1 July 2014

On Being Happy.

Life is hard, you know.

(Hashtag, First World Problems)

OK, obviously we all know it. Sometimes things suck, sometimes things are good, and sometimes things really suck. It's all relative to the person. Every person is fighting to get through life, right?

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Apart from when you start to embrace life.

I posted recently about the state of my diet and how I want to improve it. I was reading other blogs, seeing things on Pinterest, speaking to people (in real life! Gasp) and feeling wholly inadequate. And this isn't just about food. I see people getting engaged, married, starting new relationships, and these are all things that elude me. I see people striving to improve their lives by getting new jobs, going on holidays, moving house... and do you know how I feel? Jealous. Left behind. Incompetent. I felt like I was somehow less of a person, and that maybe I didn't deserve anything good because of how I was feeling. Why couldn't I be happy for my friends, family, strangers?

I was resenting people, feeling like they had done something to me. But really, they were just trying be happy. Same as me. Why should my happiness matter over theirs?

I don't know how it happened. I don't know why it happened. It started with the food. I thought about what I wrote in that post about my diet, and I thought about how I felt, and what I was doing, and I just decided I wasn't going to worry about it too much any more. I decided that instead of focusing on the bad things I was doing, I was going to focus on the good. I eat fruit, I eat three square meals most days, I eat wholegrain... The more I thought about it, the more good there was.

It's the classic 'glass half-full or empty' scenario.

And so I thought about other things in my life. I have wonderful parents, friends, workmates. I have a good job that challenges me and allows me to make a difference to a lot of lives. My job has also allowed me to buy my own house, which I run on my single salary (and I'm proud I make it work). I have been given so many wonderful opportunities in my life, some created by me, but most by other people around me.

It's so easy to compare yourself to others, and to feel that jealousy, when you see others achieving what you have dreamed of for years. Why do we spend so much of our lives focusing on the negative? Why is the positive so much harder? Why are we constantly in competition with other?

There are many things I would like to change, but now I will strive for that change, rather than fight and resent the present. Maybe things will work out my way, maybe they won't. I'll be sad if they don't, but it won't destroy me. I have many, many good things in my life.

I'm not saying it's going to be easy, and I'm sure there will still be many times when I'll feel self pity, or jealousy. But I think now I'll feel more confident about moving on from those feelings, rather than letting them consume me and dictate my actions and words. I'm thinking about the good things more, being grateful and happy with my days, my life.

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Because it's good, just as it is, and I should be happy.