Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Reflections on happiness.

I was going to write on something else this evening, but then I realized that this will be my 200th post. And I felt like I ought to do something to celebrate the occasion.

Post-doc
made a comment on my last post: "It sounds like you're doing great, and you seem happy. That's really nice."

And her comment made me realize that I am happy. Perhaps more generally happy now than at many other points in my life. Rather than focusing on an uncertain future or a bumpy past, I'm "living in the moment" and finding that I am quite content here and now.

Sure, I've got frustrations. I don't know where/if I'll be employed this time next year. I can't get pregnant. I've got the usual academic stress of too-much-to-do in too-little-time. BusinessMan's still only marginally employed. I've got my second cold in 2 weeks (last winter I was sick all winter, and this one's looking to repeat). Most of my good girl-friends have moved away.

But I generally like what I'm doing. I get to do interesting research and a bit of teaching/outreach/mentoring. I'm working on a variety of projects with people who are excited about them and give positive feedback. I'm writing for fun (here). I love the people I interact with on a day-to-day basis (maybe the most important). I love this town, the culture here, the outdoors beckoning me on sunny days. And having that overall sound foundation allows me to view the frustrations as just that.

I think sometimes there is a temptation for many of us to focus on the negative. And I'll even postulate that our self-indulgent journal blogs may exacerabate that tendency. Dr. Crazy's been talking about how she cannot stand to write self-congratulatory posts and, in fact, prefers to not to read happy things. So if you, like her, don't want to read about happiness, with occasional speed-bumps, then check back again in a few months. Who knows when the wind will change? But for now, I'm not going to apologize for or hide my joie de vivre.

If you are still reading this, that means you've not been completley turned off by the saccharine content of this post. So I'll share the lyrics to the Dar Williams song that came on my iPod when I started to compose this post.

Here's wishing you the bluest sky
And hoping something better comes tomorrow
Hoping all the verses rhyme,
And the very best of choruses to
Follow all the doubt and sadness
I know that better things are on the way.

Here's hoping all the days ahead
Won't be as bitter as the ones behind you
Be an optimist instead,
And somehow happiness will find you.
Forget what happened yesterday,
I know that better things are on their way.

It's really good to see you rocking out
And having fun,
Living like you just begun.
Accept your life and what it brings.
I hope tomorrow you'll find better things.
I know tomorrow you'll find better things.

Here's wishing you the bluest sky
And hoping something better comes tomorrow
Hoping all the verses rhyme,
And the very best of choruses to
Follow all the drudge and sadness
I know that better things are on the way.

I know you've got a lot of good things happening up ahead.
The past is gone, it's all been said.
So here's to what the future brings,
I know tomorrow you'll find better things.
I know tomorrow you'll find better things.
And that, dear friends, is what I wish for you.

9 comments:

post-doc said...

That was adorable. I'm so glad you're focused on the positive and content with how life is going. A lot of it is attitude, and I'm sincerely thrilled that you seem to be doing so well. Yay for you!

Congrats on 200 posts!

phd me said...

Embrace that happiness, woman! It is definitely easier to concentrate on the negative when we're blogging - sort of like only paying attention to the negative evaluations, right?. That doesn't mean we don't like to hear about the good stuff. Glad you're in a good place!

Mr Man said...

Be Happy Because I Love YOU

she falters to rise said...

I sometimes avoid talking about the happy things in my life because I don't want to make my suffering blogger readers feel bad. I do the same thing in real life, so I'm positive that it's my personality rather than a reflection of the blogger atmosphere that I'm a part of.

I do find it sad that there is often the need to justify "happy" posts, regardless of whether the pressure for post validation is external or internal.

I'm happy you are happy. Even when I'm not happy, seeing someone else be happy grounds me and let's me know that things will get better--life will go on.

BotanicalGirl said...

This was a lovely post. I'm glad that you are so happy :)

I tend to overworry and as a consequence am frequently very unhappy, though when I look at the big picture I like where things are going.

I'm going to find that song and download it because I need more cheerful music. I like the sentiment behind it.

B said...

I enjoy your happy blogging, it reminds me to appreciate all that it is going good for me in my life right now, so thanks!
may the happiness continue!
B

Mia said...

Hi ScienceWoman,

I've been following your blog for a couple of weeks. I'm always delighted to hear someone's happy. The lyrics reminded me of this beautiful poem:

Optimism

Talk happiness. The world is sad enough
Without your woes. No path is wholly rough;
Look for the places that are smooth and clear,
And speak of those, to rest the weary ear
Of Earth, so hurt by one continuous strain
Of human discontent and grief and pain.


Talk faith. The world is better off without
Your uttered ignorance and morbid doubt.
If you have faith in God, or man, or self,
Say so. If not, push back upon the shelf
Of silence all your thoughts, till faith shall come;
No one will grieve because your lips are dumb.


Talk health. The dreary, never-changing tale
Of mortal maladies is worn and stale.
You cannot charm, or interest, or please
By harping on that minor chord, disease.
Say you are well, or all is well with you,
And God shall hear your words and make them true.

Ella Wheeler Wilcox

GrrlScientist said...

didn't the kinks also sing that song? the lyrics are so familiar and, as i read them, i could hear their voices in my head (i really really need to get a CD player so i can listen to my CD collection again!).

GrrlScientist

Anonymous said...

That song is called "Better Things" and is from the Kinks' album "Give the People What They Want" from 1981. Dar likes to do covers, such as her recent cover of Pink Floyd's "Comfortably Numb".