The Pursuit Of Happiness

Occasionally, both C and I come under a bit of scrutiny which seems, on the surface, to be entirely pleasant and well-meaning, but makes us wonder whether that’s entirely true. As time passes, casual acquaintances seem less and less interested; as a couple, we’re no longer news. We’re asked “how are things?” and it almost seems as if a simple answer of “great” or “doing just fine” isn’t what people are looking for.

It just doesn’t make headlines. Think for a moment about what you see on the cover of People or any of the other celebrity gossip papers at the grocery store checkout. Most of the time, well, Brad, Jen, and Angelina seem to have that entire market sown up. Whoever it is, they’re almost always not happy. There must be something in our collective psychology that is reassured to be told that the lives of the rich and famous aren’t actually perfect; and, perhaps in many ways, they’re having even a worse time of it than we are. We know that’s not a universal rule; we know there are happy celebrity couples out there; we just rarely get to hear about them.

I wonder if the same applies for us, the not-so-rich or famous, too. Our well-wishers occasionally seem a little disgruntled to hear our positive replies, and it makes me wonder whether they’d be more pleased with bad news instead. In C’s career she all too often hears from people who are not happy in their relationships; in recent months our perspectives on what we should all expect or even deserve from our partners has significantly changed. Far too many people are aware that their relationships are not the best they could be, yet find some justification for doing nothing about it. It could be very rare for us to have found support for what we did, honor love’s coming with all that we are. Those supporters though are among our most cherished friends.

For most people, however, inaction is the choice they make, day in, day out; they are fully aware they are dissatisfied, they wish things could be better, but they do nothing. A more positive course of action just might be difficult, perhaps even painful. The pursuit of happiness may well be a self-evident unalienable right, but for an unfortunate many, the pursuit of other’s misery provides cold comfort. Misery loves company.

This post ended here at first, and seemed extraordinarily cold. I wondered what best to do about that. When writing an article, one of the best ways to finish up, to pull your readers in, is a call to action; something to go ahead, to do right now, to address what’s just been discussed. Self-help programs suggest it’s all a matter of taking things, one step at a time, and starting right now with a first step in a positive direction. If any of the negative outlooks above apply to you, then today really is the day to do something about it; to put an end to – blaming others; finding excuses; looking for solace in others’ problems; not doing something about whatever your situation is. Make today the day you do something about it; my only regret is I waited far too long before I acted, but I did. Strength be with you. Life’s too short to live without the happiness you deserve.


About darlingman1970

Born in the UK and a graduate in mathematics from Cambridge University, Chris Nash has followed a career in software engineering which he continued after moving the United States in 1996 and now brings him to California in 2010. However, Chris does not want to be considered as merely a code monkey, and has always been interested in writing; in areas as diverse as factual technical manuals all the way through to fiction. An avid reader, Chris is a fan particularly of mystery novels and enjoys above all the works of Agatha Christie and David Hewson. Chris has recently gone through some significant life changes which, at the moment, he is considering as the basis for a forthcoming novel and as food for thought on his blog. He manages to couple his loves of writing and technology and is particularly interested in how internet innovations have an impact on the writing and promotional process. Chris is a firm supporter of Creative Commons and other 'open' initiatives and believes strongly that such distribution mechanisms are the "right" way to handle intellectual property in an evolving digital world. Chris is a keen Nintendo DS and Wii player in his spare time, and is currently happily attached, living in the Central Coast area of California. Find him on Twitter as @darlingman1970. Don't ask him how old he is.
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