Thursday, August 21, 2014

satisfaction is not in my nature

so i was working on sophia's hair a few weeks ago, listening to the local radio station, when the dj announced that, after the commercial break, he would share the secret of happiness that scientists have finally figured out.  it wasn't like i was going to change the channel since i was doing hair, so i was blessed with hearing this "secret to happiness".

according to scientists, the secret to happiness is . . .  . doing better than you expected.  the dj, trying to get a laugh, summed up this astounding bit of info.  the secret to happiness is having low expectations!  sophia and i both burst out laughing.

but here's the thing.  that IS the secret to happiness.  if you think you're going to get a 4% return on your investments and you get a 6% return, you're happy!  if you think you're going to get a b on the test but you really get an A, you're happy!  if you think that you're going to be able to afford a 2 bedroom home but you can actually afford a 3 bedroom home, you're happy!

my problem is this, and i'm totally stealing a line from the last thor movie:  loki says "satisfaction is not in my nature"  wow.  so profound and so true.  satisfaction is not in MY nature.  i look at where i am in life and i am not satisfied.  i've travelled to europe three times, africa four times, i lived in uganda for 6 weeks, have been on safari and have had experiences that very few of my local friends have had, but, BUT i'm not satisfied.  i want to go to iceland and see the northern lights.  i want to go to india, and vietnam, and nepal.  i want to see tanzania, and i want to see gorillas in the mist.

i've worked my ass off paying off my mortgage, living debt free and saving for retirement and i know we're farther along in our plans than some, but i'm not satisfied.  i want more, to be better at saving, to be more frugal.

i've read tons of classics and good books, but i'm not satisfied.  i'm smart but i wish i was smarter.  i can walk incredible mileage but i want to be able to run it.  i know some french, but i wish i knew several languages.

i just finished my tattoo and i love it, but i'm ready for another or to add to this one.

we love going to the theater and have a great time, but i'm not satisfied with the local theater anymore, i want to see larger productions in bigger cities.

satisfaction is not in my nature and therefore i can never find true happiness.

nathan and i had a major philosophical discussion this evening.   i cannot change who i am.  for better or worse, i want a life larger that the one i'm living.  no matter how filled, how full, how big the life, it won't be big enough.  i will never be satisfied with mediocrity.

if i were to try to change myself, i wouldn't be true to myself and therefore wouldn't be happy.  but always wanting more won't make me happy either.  conundrum much?

yet can we find happiness in the journey?  is my happiness, at the end of my days, tied not to how full my life was but how much i challenged myself to make it fuller?  can that be a satisfying conclusion in and of itself?

sometimes i wish, i wish, i wish i could be satisfied with mediocrity. i wish i could be satisfied living a simple life with a simple uneducated man, going to the same place over and over with no variety, doing the same things.  i wish i could content myself with reading the latest romance book instead of wishing i could get through the complete works of all my favorite authors.  i wish i could settle in and be satisfied going to disneyworld year after year instead of yearning for the red earth of africa, the smell of sea air, or the volcano blackened earth of iceland.

perhaps that's why 40 has hit me as hard as it has.  nobody will ever tell me i have my whole life in front of me, yet i have so much to do, so much to see, so much to live, i can't possibly get it all done.

i'm not depressed or sad or angry.  this comes from a place of introspection and truth.  i am what i am.  i know my limitations.  now to figure out a way to find happiness while also constantly striving to be . . . . more.


Livia said...

What a great blog. I certainly see some of that in myself too. However, I do try to concentrate on living more in the present. If you are always just concentrating on the next thing, and the next thing, you miss out on what's truly awesome right in front of you.
And, you've done a lot! So have I--you just need people to remind you of that sometimes! Think back to that young girl that was my friend so long ago. Did you ever see that girl doing half the things you've done or me doing the things I've done? We've come a LONG way baby in this journey called life!

Heather said...

You're right, and I do try to be grateful for what I have on a regular basis, but not as often as I should. It's just so easy to get bogged down with all the things I want to get done. It doesn't help that I have the attention span of a nat. My interests and passions continually change, and I"m never on one thing long enough.

One of my goals for the rest of the month is to work on that daily gratitude.