I’ve often wondered if happiness is something you can just have or experience for long periods of time.
My experience suggests no. For me happiness is a transient state. I don’t think I can ever find happiness and then keep it forever.
I seem to live my life in a state of flux. If I am lucky I find a level of contentment that hopefully is bearable and life continues in this steady state in a “business as usual” mode. When something great happens in my life it can raise my feeling of happiness and contentment to a higher level. It will stay there for a while but will return to the steady state.
Conversely when something gets me down my mood will be lowered and depressed somewhat but hopefully it will eventually elevate back to steady state.
Friends, family, pets, hobbies, sports, the arts, travel and even crafts can all help us to raise our mood. Maybe it’s just the social engagement that does it.
Expecting to be perpetually happy is unrealistic, at least for me.
Carrying a rock up a hill
But one thing we all seem to need. We all need a rock that we are trying to carry up a hill. That is to say we all need a challenge in our lives that looms large and is difficult to overcome. It could be our challenging job or our upcoming gig or even our transition. But without a challenge to engage us our lives can seem purposeless.
We all need to find our rock and decide which hill we are climbing with it. As the song says “It’s the climb”.
In fact the climb is our life playing itself out. In a sense reaching the top, although important, is secondary to the journey.
Even when we reach the top we are gonna need a new rock and a new hill. Our lives need purpose and challenge.
Our life is a journey and for it to feel worthwhile we need to feel challenged and overcome adversity. On our journey we will feel highs and lows. If we are lucky the highs will outnumber the lows.
Life is hard but it can also be wonderful. It will never be perfect but it won’t always feel bad either. The sun always comes up eventually.