Happiness Is

Things have been somewhat overwhelming recently. Work is nuts with 2 rounds of layoffs sweeping through in less than 6 months. My personal life is a mass of activities. My budget is rockin’ while my debt snowball is rollin’. My house is slowly having more things done to it which make it that much more like a home to me. And through all this madness, I’ve barely blogged except for the other day when I just felt the need to vent a little. I guess you could say it was a little verbal processing run amok.

Sidebar: I just was distracted by watching Chena bury some item of great value (at least to her) in the folds of a towel on the floor. But it’s cool, she’s a dog. It’s what she does. Still, kinda funny.

Anyway, despite my little online explosion the other day, I just wanted to let everyone know that I’m really doing pretty well – this especially for those of you who don’t see me all that often and might not know what to think when I don’t post for weeks and then suddenly come out with a message like I did on Monday.

But I’m good. I’m busy, I’m happy, I love my dog, I’m healthy, I have hardwood floors, I have a new patio door, I’m getting a new patio to go with it next week, and I’m employed. I’ve been thinking it over the past couple of days and decided that, despite any guy thing (or lack thereof) I’m not about to be bullied by happiness.

I should probably explain that last statement.

Dave Ramsey says in one of our FPU lessons (and he may have been quoting someone else, I don’t know) that if you’re not careful, happiness can become a “bully in a schoolyard”. Always drawing a line in the sand, but as soon as you step over that line – as soon as you obtain what you’re after – it moves. But happiness is not really the greener grass on the other side of the fence. Happiness is where you are right now, regardless of incidentals.

I think I started to learn this lesson somewhat when I was in England. I was frustrated with being in the UK – especially being so far out in the middle of nowhere. But I also knew that it was a good time in my life…something I would look back on and appreciate – although there were many times when I couldn’t wait to be “looking back” on it instead of living it! Still, I knew that this was the case, so I made a concerted effort to find things that I loved and appreciated about Leamington, Warwickshire, and the UK in general. Even now, I think back on that time and remember fondly my fabulous flat on Clarendon Square, the amazing Irish butter, Muellers Crumble Corners, riding my bike to work, walking everywhere, taking weekend trips into Europe, being so close to Stratford that I had a membership with the Royal Shakespeare Company at a “locals” rate… I could go on and on. So despite the fact that it was rough year (and I know I complained a lot), I still could appreciate it and still do. So much so that I’d go back for the right opportunity.

That whole concept of completing the phrase, “Happiness is [fill in the blank]” is really kinda difficult to do. Happiness is…uh…what? How can you define happiness if it’s a moving target? And there’s the rub.

Happiness isn’t that thing just out of reach. It’s not the marriage and kids you don’t have. It’s not the job you wished you’d gotten. It’s not the car you drive (or wish you drove). Neither is happiness a particular thing that happens once or many times over. Happiness is now. Happiness just IS.

If we don’t stop tying our happiness to the having or attaining of specific things, we’ll always be bullied by it and we’ll never find true contentment.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that sure, I’m missing some stuff from my life that I’d like to have, but ultimately, those missing items don’t necessarily detract from my ability to still see and enjoy and love and find happiness in where I am right now.

Paul said it like this in Philippians 4:11 – “I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.”

Rock on Paul. That’s what I’m talking about.

A Rock & A Hard Place

Some of you already know this little drama that’s been unfolding for me recently. The short of it is this – I like this guy who, odds are I have no future with. I’ve known him for awhile and really enjoy his friendship and being around him. I have absolutely no idea if he feels the same way. I assume that he likes me on some level at least – that is to say he hasn’t shunned me or anything. But then he also hasn’t asked me out.

Janelle’s thoughts on this were the most encouraging. I think she said that, in all the time she’s known me, she’s never seen me have this good of a relationship with a guy I wasn’t dating. We’re just friends…and good friends at that, at least I think we are. I feel incredibly comfortable with him, and I think he feels the same with me. We’re alike enough to have things to talk about, but different enough to be interesting. He makes me laugh – and vice versa (always good to find someone who appreciates my sometimes-insane sense of humor). I feel like I could say just about anything to him, and again vice versa (I think).

The agony is two-fold.

On the one hand, as I said, we most likely have no future. I also have horrible luck with men. The ones I like usually don’t like me back – or if they do, chances are there’s something terribly wrong with them that only time will reveal. The ones that do like me are usually desperados who mistake my being nice for romantic interest (the LARPer springs to mind). There is a part of me that REALLY wants to know whether there is any interest on his side or not…although I’m not sure which response would be worse.

Allow me to explain.

If the answer is that he likes me too, well then I’m faced with what to do with that when getting involved with him would be a potentially slippery slope into a place I don’t know if I really want to be. At the same time, this would be a nice ego boost – everyone wants to be wanted, after all.

If the answer is that no, he isn’t interested in me as anything more than a friend, then I think I would be more hurt than I have been in a long, long time. I mean, what could be worse than someone who knows you incredibly well then decides that they don’t have any interest in who you really are. It’s one thing to have someone reject you who doesn’t really know you. It’s another matter altogether to be rejected by someone who does. Call me crazy, but THAT is not something I particularly want to face.

Where do I go from here? I have no idea. I love what Jel had to say when we spoke last night – she’s so encouraging. But at the end of the day, caring about someone only seems to amplify feelings of loneliness and my desire to share my life and experiences with someone which I’m otherwise pretty much able to ignore.

Talk about a rock & a hard place.

So…now what?