I've been doing a lot of thinking lately because I haven't felt truly happy for a long time. I certainly ave times when I'm happy and that's great, but there are a lot of times when I'm less than happy - not sad but just a bit blah.......as I said, "less than happy".
The biggest part of my problem is that I have a mindset that my happiness depends on other people and on my circumstances. If my family is happy then I'm happy, if my husband is happy then I'm happy, if my boss is happy then I'm happy etc etc etc. If any of those people aren't happy then I feel like I have to fix it or take responsibility for it, or I just feel down as well. If things are crappy at work, or if life sucks in some way, I am dragged down by it and feel flat and "less than happy". It might have nothing to do with me, but it still impacts on me and how I feel in general. Logically that is fairly ridiculous but in my oldest-child/people-pleasing personality I get influenced by all these things all the time.
What I am coming to realize is that my happiness is my responsibility - it isn't up to other people to make me happy or to provide a sunny day for me - it is my responsibility and my choice. I can choose to let less than perfect things affect my mood and drag me down, or I can choose to be happy despite them. Like the quote above says....."happiness is a choice". This takes some getting used to and I have argued against this point of view for a long time, but the older (and hopefully - wiser) I get, the more I'm starting to think that I might have been wrong and I need to take a long hard look at how I view my world. The picture below sums it up pretty succinctly!
|How do I see the world and how does that affect me?|
Over the last few years I've had to do a lot of re-thinking about my marriage and how we go forward as a tight unit rather than two people living in the same house. I've had to learn how to let my children go without feeling abandoned. I've had to learn who I can depend on when the going gets rough and who to leave behind. All of this has been a journey towards being accountable to myself for how I'm feeling and not abdicating my power to other people or to events happening around me.
Maybe it's a midlife crisis, but I think it's a good kind of crisis - one I'm needing to go through to understand who I am. My role has changed from what it was during all those years as a child, then a young adult, and then as a parent and now I'm having to decide who I am going to become for this second half of my life. Scary but exciting too - and I think I'm starting to feel quite happy about it all!