That's just life!
Life is a bit tough at the moment. I suspect it is like this for most people right now. During tough times in the past I've pedalled like mad to get through the tough spots so I can relax back in the "happy" life that should be the norm. Problem is I get there, and then as quickly as I grasp hold of it, it slips away again.
How often do you hear people say ... "If only I could pay my tax bill, I'd be happy then", "If only I could find a job doing something I like, I'd be happy then", If only we had a decent car, I'd be happy then". We hear it all the time. In fact, I say things like that myself. We are all waiting for that something to happen so we can live in happiness, just how life is meant to be. Right?
What if the concept of having a "happy" life doesn't exist - it never has and it never will? What if we just accept that life is a struggle, it is hard. Fullstop. There is no "easy" life. There is no utopia at the end of the road. We don't work hard and get through the tough bits in order to get to the good time/easy life that awaits us. It simply isn't there.
Wait for it ... what if the hard times were the norm and the happy times were sprinkled throughout to give us a break and a chance to build strength to keep going? Novel thought isn't it?
Don't worry, I've not gone all emo and traded in my optimism card for a pessimism one. In fact I'm having a mindset change that actually makes me happier. Instead of waiting to be happy, I am learning to accept that how things are right now is exactly how they are meant to be. On any given day I can always find some sparkly bits to make my day brighter, no matter what is going on.
We give our children the message that life should be easy, fun, happy. We protect them from the hard stuff as we wear the brunt of everything we have to deal with. Protecting them from life. I know. I've done this for 20 years! Just recently my sons have been going through some tough times and I realise how ill equipped they are to deal with this. When I said, "welcome to real life - it's actually hard" a light bulb went off in my mind. They had no idea how hard it is and I've spent years pretending life is easier than it really is.
Books and happiness coaches tell us that if we live life this way or that way we will be happy. Life doesn't have to be hard. De-clutter our homes, our minds, our garages and "shazam" happiness will be ours for the taking. Bucket loads of the stuff! If we "Don't Sweat the Small Stuff" all of a sudden we won't be burdened with worry and stress. And so it goes on. If we don't feel "happy" and life isn't "easy" then we must be doing something wrong.
I've got an idea. To really simplify things why don't we just accept that life is hard. Your life, my life, everyone's life. Bad stuff happens all the time. People get sad. People worry every single day. People get sick. People die. People lose their jobs. People become homeless. The problems we face today are much different to the problems our caveman ancestors had to face, yet essentially we are both fighting for the same thing ... survival. They spent their entire life trying to not get eaten by saber tooth tigers and making sure they had enough food to keep their family alive. Same thing now, except the Saber Tooth tiger comes in many forms - banks, tax office, cancer, bullying, jobs or lack thereof. There are Saber Tooth tigers everywhere!
So ... accepting that life is hard and there won't be a gold prize at the end of the rainbow or a light at the end of the tunnel, is liberating. I don't feel like I'm missing out on something or that other people have it easier than I do. Life is just that, life and we navigate our way through it with one thing in mind ... survival. That is our reward - surviving it to the end, not finding an unattainable utopia!