I’ve been thinking about this for a while – since my last post really – and was planning to write this post at the end of last week and didn’t get a chance to. The question that has been gnawing at me and keeping me awake sometimes and keeping me wondering about things is this: is all happiness near sighted? Do other people feel the same way I do? Is it good that my happiness is near sighted?
Last week, I posted about things that make me happy. After posting it and waking up the next morning, I realized that I hadn’t posted some of the most important things (although I did note that it was not an exclusive list). It got me thinking about how near sighted my happiness is and what that means to me.
It means that if I’m excited about something that is coming up, I’m more likely to be happy. If I’m doing things that make me happy on a daily basis, I’m more likely to find happiness. If I’m searching for something that makes me happy, I’m more likely to feel off balanced until I can really make a choice. It also means (to me anyway), that I’m not that hard to please. If I can find something that makes me happy, I am okay.
So, is it easier for me to find happiness realizing that happiness is near sighted? I’m not sure.
Let’s take an experience of mine that includes both happiness and sadness. I was at a concert last summer – the concert itself was a mixed experience because the year before I had felt slightly burned by the staff and how they had handled a few things. This specific concert was attached to a golf tournament and I invited the guy I’d been dating to come along when a friend bailed. I was very excited for this concert. I really enjoyed the band and I planned to get there early enough to find the spot that I wanted and have a good view of the show.
Partway through the day, the guy asked to use my phone. While using it to contact a friend (because his phone had died), he read through text messages and took things out of context and became very angry with me. He proceeded to vacillate between ignoring me and being angry at me and making sure that I knew it.
My happiness for the concert quickly wavered and was replaced with deep sadness. I was able to make it through the concert and be okay because I had that small happiness of the music coming through to me, but it was a hard pill to swallow.
My near sighted happiness was crushed by the anger that I was receiving.
On the other side of the argument, I could be having a really bad time at something or with someone and one small thing that makes me happy can change the whole thing around. For example, when I was in college I was selling tickets for the biggest event of our student government careers (I had been in student government since freshman year) and I was feeling tired, frustrated, and finished with everything. When we had finished, I was given a compliment about how I had handled things and it made it easier. To see that my hard work (something that makes me happy) be acknowledged, made me happy in that moment and the frustration and tiredness lifted for a moment.
So, what are your thoughts? Do you think near sighted happiness is a good thing or a bad thing? Do you feel that your happiness is near sighted? What makes you happy in the long term? What about the short term?