In Defense of Being Just FINE
August is #Admit You’re Happy Month, but today I am “Just Fine.” I am not happy or sad, just fine. Some days I have pockets of happiness and others pockets of sadness. But right now, in this moment, I am “just fine.” It is as if society doesn’t have a place for me being just fine. Am I hiding my feelings? Is it possible to be just fine? I think I am just fine therefore, I AM.
Happiness Guilt Trip
It appears that if I am not happy, then perhaps I am ungrateful or selfish or defective. At what point in society did we decide that being happy was a mandate? It used to be that having a good work ethic was of the utmost importance. Then we decided that work was not the be all end all, happiness was. “As long as my kids are ‘happy’” (as they engage in destructive behavior in search of happiness), “I just want them (my spouse, partner) to be happy” (as they are walking off to divorce court), “I am just not happy anymore” (as if happiness is to be a constant state of mind). Don’t you think if you had to do it all over again, you would not wish for happiness? Happiness is fleeting at best and it is there to give us appreciation when we do not have it. Happiness was never meant to be a constant state of mind.
Gratefulness is NOT Happiness
When I went through severe financial difficulty in the summer of 2011, I was grateful that my basic needs were still met by God, but I was NOT happy. When my oldest daughter was struck by a car and was killed at the age of 33 in 2012, I was grateful that it was instantaneous and her suffering was not long lasting. I was NOT happy. When I ended what could have been a very bad relationship over a decade ago, before it was, I was grateful for the wisdom, but I was NOT happy. Being grateful is not synonymous with happiness. Conversely, one can be happy and completely ungrateful for what caused them to be happy.
What Makes Me Happy
Special moments with my kids and grandkids, watching a funny movie, getting enough of the winning numbers on a lottery ticket to buy lunch, an unexpected kiss, making someone else smile, there are many more but they happen spontaneously. I don’t demand happiness, it just happens or it doesn’t—as it is meant to be. So I am off to my “just fine” life and that is perfectly fine with me, in fact…it makes me quite happy…
Sherri Sue Fisher, author of TimerDiet and TimerOrganizer