Friday, June 26, 2009

The facade of happiness

I'm often baffled by the "better-than's" of the world. You know them, the people who have to have what you have, only a better. The people who simply cannot be happy with what they have and who they are that they constantly have to prove that they are superior to somebody else.

We've all dealt with them, maybe some of you are, without realizing it, those type of people. I don't know. But it really irks me I tell you. Irks me bad.

Unfortunately it isn't always involving material posessions. Usually the better-than's are so miserable that they will tell outrageous stories and skew the truth to make you think they are happier than you. It's downright amazing sometimes how some people appear to have absolutely no bad times in their lives, or if they do it was always someone else's fault anyway. They have a hugely overactive sense of entitlement and seem to get caught right up the little fantasy world they worked so hard to create.

Unless the better-than's are very careful, occasionally the truth will shine through and you just kind of sit back scratching your head, or maybe you muster a little internal chuckle, if you are like me. Such as when a better-than's teenager takes up smoking or when that teenager makes sexual references in front of adults. And when they realize that this doesn't quite match with the perfect little family they have created to the outside world, they rationalize it by falling down to a teenagers level and imitating the behavior themself. As if to say "see? I think it's ok that he says that.... so much so that I say it too". When you are pretty sure it's not something that any adult with any ounce of maturity would say, let alone to a child. I don't know, maybe I expect too much out of my children by teaching them respect.....

Ok so I'm straying a little. I can't help it, Craig and the boys are watching a movie and it's distracting.

It's too bad money can't buy contentment, isn't it? Money can't buy a lot of things. It can't buy love, it can't buy a family, and it can't buy happiness. Becoming comfortable with who you are and not allowing what you don't have prevent you from being happy with what you do is the key. It's something that in this world of instant gratification, money, greed, and materialism we have to think about daily, always reassessing and always taking inventory of what makes us happy. No keeping up with the Jones', not trying to be perfect, not trying to impress anybody... just being us and at the end of the day being wholeheartedly comfortable with that. There's a big difference in striving to be a better you and in creating the persona of a better you.... the latter is never satisfying.

People will often say that contentment is another term for complacent. That being happy with your current life is failing to try to improve it. And I can't help but wonder why they think that's a bad thing? Why does it always have to be better? Why do we always want more? We all have struggles in life and I guess for me it's about looking at those struggles and deciding what you would trade for them. No one has it 100% perfect all the time. Sometimes we live paycheck to paycheck and it can cause worry, but would I trade my 6 healthy children, my home, my husband, or anything else I have for the money I may not? Would I trade my fertility or time with my husband and children for the ability to buy $100 wicker baskets or foo foo trinkets for my dining table? No way! Sounds kind of silly to me. But Whatever.


tropicalg77 said...

ihaaa donotaahhh y=understand yout japanesa dielect.]]nono, no no no understand

Michelle said...

I couldn't agree with you more, Kat. This year has been particularly hard for us because of all our little man's medical expenses. But - we just figured out how to make it work and we have. I'm okay with my small house (less to clean), staycation this year (no huge amount of packing to do), and our older cars (paid off and they're all OURS!). I got to play "going to Hawaii" with the kids one day last week, and I got to have fun grocery shopping with Samantha today. It doesn't get any better. I'm with you...CONTENTMENT rocks!!