The Happiness Stutter
Are you happy? It should be an easy question to answer but it leaves so many of us squirming on the spot. Ask someone if they are happy and they’ll respond with “I suppose so’ or ‘I think so’. Maybe they will stretch to ‘I am ok’ ‘Things are good’. Even those who break convention and respond with a definitive ‘Yes’ follow it up with a flinch, a twitch, a visual display of doubt. Now ask someone what makes them feel happy and you’ll think you are on a silent retreat. Of course there are the normal responses - my wife / girlfriend / husband / boyfriend – I was exactly the same. But in the absence of that special someone, do you really know what makes you tick? Well I didn’t have a clue so I needed to approach the problem from a different angle.
Small Dry Steps
Initially the plan was just to stop crying, just for a few hours, a couple of dry hours then maybe I could apply a bit of eye gel, moisturise my face, place a couple of cucumber slices on my puffy eyes so that I didn’t look like I’d been testing cosmetics on myself. Then the plan was to kill time, because all my future plans had involved my ex – the places we were going to travel, the houses we were going to build, our unrealised wedding anniversaries, our as-yet-unborn-children - I’d been part of a happiness pair. Without him I was time rich in a terrifying sense. And I’d done my research. I knew the average life expectancy of a British female was 82 years old, so I had approximately 50 empty years slowly unravelling ahead of me. They needed to be filled with something else.