Happiness Is What You Make It

“If only we were rich,”….my husband says to me every week; seriously, every week!

Personally, I am happily content with Life.  I enjoy sipping coffee in the early morning on the outdoor patio overlooking the blissful countryside.  I have a roof (a very nice roof, even though its a rented roof) over my head, a clean porcelain pot to do my business in (I should know, I clean it), money in my pocket (seriously, a penny), clothes on my back (a few holes, but its okay), a working car to take me from point A to point B, (even though we’re totally buried upside down in it); but, best of all, I have an amazing happy family who I enjoy making memories with everyday, (even if they are a bit dramatic sometimes)!

Sure, I work hard everyday, sometimes having to do things I don’t want to do (like scrub my husband’s toilet) or things I shouldn’t have to do (like negotiating my husbands debts from a time long before me).  Sometimes I am overwhelmed, exhausted, and completely under-appreciated, but everything I do, I do for my family and I love it.   Okay, I am human, so there are times I do vent and complain about having to do “everything,” but in the end, I am still grateful and happy.

My happiness comes from gratitude.  I am so lucky and extremely grateful to have the opportunity to stay home with my kids and watch them grow.  I am grateful for all the material things (even if they aren’t casted in gold) in my life that my husband works so hard to provide for us.  I am grateful for all the people in my life, even those just passing by, for each and every one of them has some lesson to teach me.  I am grateful for all the wonderful adventures I have with my family.  I am grateful for so many things, big and small, I think that is why I am so happily content with life.

It doesn’t matter where or how we live, how much money is or isn’t in our pockets, or how fancy or not fancy our lifestyles are; happiness is what we make it.  

Without Gratitude, Comes On Misery

My husband’s life is simple.  He goes to work, comes home, eats dinner, then plays video games until 3-4am, takes a shower, goes to bed, and then repeats (kind of like shampoo).  He has no responsibilities, except provide a paycheck and handle the occasional drama with his ex for visitations with his other kids.  Other than that, I’d expect life to be pretty much dandy.  I mean, his life is nowhere as stressful and chaotic as mine….

Whereas, I, well, frankly, the list is too long to blog.  Basically, I run the entire household (like a 1950’s housewife), but I am also the handy man who fixes appliances and plunges toilets, remembers to reprogram clocks, pays the bills in a timely manner, coordinates appointments for everyone written in a torn and colored on planner, cleans and maintains the cars; all while making sure our kids are clean, happy, healthy, and enjoying life, and that I am semi-functional fueled by coffee.

It’s no easy task being a busy housewife and mom, especially, with a husband who is just as messy as the rest of the troops.  He doesn’t throw his trash away, is a snacker who doesn’t finish his dinner (wasting food), leaves a trail of dirty clothes on the floor, never flushes his toilet, and leaves body hair all over the bathroom (his body hair falls out like he was exposed to radiation or something).  Simply, my husband doesn’t exactly help me around the house.

Yet, everyday, he comes home to a clean house, hot food on the table, and a ready-to-go gaming chair.

I am not complaining though.  You should see him try to work a wrench.  It’s painful.  My point is, that after all that I tackle on a daily basis, I am still happily content with Life.  However, my husband who has little to no adult responsibilities is completely miserable.  He absolutely hates his life.  In short, he has this idea that he “should” (terrible word) be rich by now.  The worst part, is that he is waiting until he becomes rich before he starts “living” his life (you know enjoying it).

The Duck Farm Dream

There is no telling what goes on inside my husband’s brain, but as far as I can gather, he is disappointed that his past debts (from his previous relationship many, many, moons ago) is preventing him from achieving his goal of becoming a duck farmer.  Yes, a “duck” farmer!

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Our first goose! 

A few years ago, I allowed my husband to get a duck.  One duck!  Well, one duck, became two ducks (because, how silly of me, they need friends), eventually became 20 something ducks, a rooster, and 3 geese, plus, one severely injured wild duck my husband brought home from the park, who we successfully mended back to health.  It was suppose to be a fun little hobby to get my husband out of the house (away from the video games) and soak up some vitamin D.  Apparently, he really liked raising ducks.  Unfortunately for my husband, a great (couldn’t pass up) job opportunity took us back to the bustling city.

Money Can’t Buy Total Happiness

My husband thinks if he can just win the lottery, all his dreams would come true.  Frankly, money can’t buy total happiness and here is why?

Although money can buy material things that bring happiness, it is only temporary happiness.  Money cannot sustain long term happiness, especially, if you are spending money on materialistic things to bring you happiness.

I mean think about it…  You see something you really really want, thinking it could solve all your troubles and bring you total happiness.  You finally get it, but after awhile, it doesn’t bring you the same amount of joy or happiness as it once did in the beginning.   Then, you go out to look for something else that you think will bring you happiness again, and the cycle repeats itself.  That isn’t happiness, that is wasting money for temporary happiness.

And sure, winning the lottery or being granted with a gracious inheritance is great, but what happens when the money runs out?  (sadly, free money like that, does run out)

I tried to explain to my husband, that if he was granted with enough money to pay off all his debt and buy a farm, he still has to think about how he is going to afford his dream long after the money runs out.  Because you can’t afford a luxurious Mercedes-Benz (a car on his wish-list) just by selling duck eggs.  My husband is a black and white thinker (I blame his Asperger’s) and rarely see’s the whole picture.

But wait, there is more….

Money cannot buy happiness, but it can provide security, so long as you manage it properly.   Feeling financially secure is a step towards happiness, because let’s be real here, everyone wants financial security.  However,  if you hadn’t learned anything from your prior financial mistakes, you’ll likely end up in debt all over again.  Back to square one!

So yeah, money can solve financial problems (temporarily), but it can’t buy total happiness, unless you are like Scrooge McDuck who loves shinny coins.  Then, maybe money in a physical sense can bring total happiness.

Don’t Put Happiness On Hold Until Rome Is Built

My husband is extremely impatient.  Although I tell him Rome was not built in a day, he expects Rome on a silver-plater, like yesterday.  Basically, we aren’t achieving his farm goals fast enough, thus delaying a life-time of happiness.

Rome took forever to build and this is why it is important to appreciate the small stuff and enjoy life now, rather than wait until all your dreams have come true.  Like I often tell my husband, “if you want Rome built in a day, you better find a better contractor;” basically saying, if you don’t like my game plan to achieving our goals, then I suggest you figure out another game plan.

There is way more to happiness than just having a comfortable bank account, a fancy materialistic lifestyle, and achieving all your goals.  Happiness is loving life as it is, making the best of every situation, appreciating the small stuff you do have, enjoying the company of others, and being grateful for all of life’s experiences and adventures (good or bad).  Happiness is what we make it!  Happiness is living life.

What are your thoughts on happiness?  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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