Whenever people ask me how I’m doing, I try my best to avoid answering in the usual predictable way.
I often go with the more unconventional: “living the dream.”
The unnecessary backlash I get after is baffling to me. Often people respond with the condescending :
Or the always predictable *obviously sarcastic voice*: “okay…”
And sometimes even: “You’re so full of shit.”
Why? What’s the deal? Apparently I’m missing something here—I thought happiness was a good thing. I didn’t realize showing enthusiasm stomps on other people’s ambitions of being miserable.
If our main goal in life is to be miserable, then what’s the f***ing point of living? Do I really need to apologize for not wanting to take a bath with a toaster?
I don’t think so.
Life is hard for everyone at times. That much is for sure. We all deal with death, fear, pain, sickness, loneliness, etc. Those things won’t go away regardless of who you are, where you live or what you do. Those parts of life undoubtedly suck the big one… no argument here.
What they also do, however, is show us the many things we should be thankful for. One of my favorite quotes from my all-time favorite story is this: “It was the possibility of darkness that made the day seem so bright.” (Stephen King, Dark Tower V: Wolves of the Calla). In the context of the story, it doesn’t have the exact meaning that I’m giving it. I interpret it as meaning: it’s the bad things in life that make the good seem that much sweeter.
So why not feel overwhelming joy when life seems to be going okay?
I’m probably like a lot of the readers of my blog. Middle class, good job, live in a ‘free country’ (whatever that means), etc. Why not be happy about where I’m at when there are millions of people in the country I live in struggling to keep a roof over their head? Why not do whatever I can to help my community? Why not proclaim that ‘I’m living the dream’?
Hell, I’m living somebody’s dream—I’m living my dream.
As humans, we’re hard wired to want more than what we have; more money, power, recognition, etc. What we often fail to do is appreciate the (relatively) great lives we’re able to live. In America, we have one day of the year devoted to that. The fourth Thursday of November we kick back and appreciate what we have for twenty-four hours. Ironically, the next day, as a country, we go out and buy a bunch of crap that we don’t need. But that’s a story for another day.
The point I’m getting at is that we need to stop looking at people like they’re full of shit when they decide to appreciate what they have. Yes, everyone wants more—I’d be a liar to say I wouldn’t want a million dollars to show up on my doorstep. But that’s not going to happen. For the time being, I’ll be appreciative of the people that have decided to stick with me this entire time. I’ll be happy with my job and the things it allows me to do. And Finally, I’ll be happy for my laptop that allows me to go on rants on my blog.