Grandma married very young, lived in the same place her whole life and had 6 children. She never had a career and never got a chance to go on a vacation. To me her life was hard, poor and devoid of any real opportunities or options. Very much unlike my life and the options available to me.
But you see, the problem with having options is that it makes me restless. I can’t seem to be satisfied with what I have and I’m always wondering about the next big thing.
I think someone else is having a better time than me. I make myself miserable by constantly thinking about the unknown in an endless pursuit of happiness.
I lie awake at night torturing myself over what I should do next, wondering if I’m missing out on something big. I feel I am wasting my life if I am not doing something more important, something more adventurous, something more successful or thrilling than I currently am. I always want more.
And that’s when I become depressed and spend all my time and energy focusing on what I don’t have rather than counting my blessings.
So I start to move around to find what I like to call “my happy place”, jumping from one job or relationship to the next, never fully committing to anything.
Once I’ve made that leap, once I’ve moved to where I thought the grass would be greener, I realize that it is no different. Then I start to wonder about the grass being greener elsewhere.
I have found that focusing on things I don’t have is a recipe for disaster and it only leads to a more miserable existence and causes me to forget what is most important and all the positive things happening right now.
I often forget that the whole point of happiness is peace of mind, acceptance and contentment. Basically, it’s being happy no matter where you are in the world, or what you are doing, or whom you are with.
I wonder what life would have been like for grandma had she had the opportunities I have today. But I’m slowly coming to realize that grandma might have just been fine with her lifestyle. She might have just been happier than I am today. Her life was simple and perhaps there’s a clue to that. Maybe the simple life is where I can find peace.
So I make an effort to embrace everything that comes along, go out and see the world and enjoy everything life has to offer. And whenever I feel myself losing focus and wondering about where I’ll be happy next, I pinch myself back to reality. Look at all I have achieved, it’s not half bad! Then I enjoy the moments that are happening now.
Like Mum would say, happiness is not about where you go. It is not about being on an impossible mission to do everything, see everywhere and accomplish everything you ever dreamed of. Happiness is a state of mind which I can achieve by building a life around my current location, making new friends, settling into a routine, finding ways to enjoy the moment rather than dwelling on all the things that I could be doing elsewhere.
When my green grass syndrome sets in, I try to assure myself that my grass is green enough! And even if the grass is actually greener on the other side, who said I like dark green?