The happiness myth

kk 010

The happiness myth is that having more makes you happy. I think that’s all wrong. I think the less you can be happy with the better off you are.

Work: Having work you love can definitely make you happy. At least while you are working, you are happy. My daughter is graduating this year and she has been offered a job in San Francisco. I think that having a job will help keep her happy. We all need work to keep us busy.

Children: If you want children, and then you have them and they grow up and they love you and you have a great relationship with them? That’s happiness.

What takes you farther away from happiness: Needing to buy more stuff. Thinking about money all the time. Wishing others could change their ways. They don’t want to change their ways. They like their ways. And who is to say that you are right and they are wrong? Who is to say that you are right about your ways? Who is to say that you are right?

We saw Anna Karenina tonight. The days when a woman had to choose between her children and her lover are gone at least in this part of the country. If she chooses to be in love, to be with her lover, she knows she will never see her son again. There is no happy choice for her. You can’t choose to be with a lover knowing you will never see your children again and be perfectly happy. Or can you? My parents managed it just fine. They walked away from children and were completely happy. Without their kids.

But for me, it wouldn’t work.

It’s hard for me to be happy if I’m not writing. Not getting enough sleep. Spending too much time away from home. From Mark.

Happiness sometimes seems to hang by the smallest of threads. Someone doesn’t love you. You can’t be happy. Someone doesn’t like you. You can’t be happy. Someone won’t talk with you. You can’t be happy. Everyone else gets more attention than you do. You can’t be happy. You didn’t get the book published. You can’t be happy. You didn’t get the book reviewed. You can’t live like this.

You need to have people recognize you. You need to have the shoes. You need. You need.

What we all need is to have fewer needs.

We no longer live, as did Anna Karenina in a world where being divorced makes you a pariah. Where you cannot see your children because you left your husband for another man. But now, there are just as many reasons that people have for being unhappy.

Happy families are all alike. Unhappy families are all unhappy in their own way. Anna Karenina could have been happy if she had been willing to simply stay at home, but she lives in a culture where all that she has to do is get dressed and go out. Go out to the theatre, go out dancing, go out to the opera. And she cannot go out in public because she has left her husband. The movie goes on far more than is necessary. About how unhappy Anna is and how much she wants to throw herself under a train rather than live with the unhappiness.

I never think about throwing myself under a train. If I were not adequately loved to find happiness in America, surely I could find love and happiness in Peru. Peruvian lovers would bring me Peruvian food and I would enjoy it.

Published in: on May 20, 2013 at 9:57 pm  Leave a Comment  

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