It appears we live in a culture hellbent on finding happiness. Whatever that is. How do you measure that? No really, how does one quantify being happy? Researchers ask people to rate themselves on a scale of 0-5, as if that were accurate. Over the years I’ve stumbled on the results of a number of such studies and each one had a completely different outcome. Hmmmm. If you are just itching to find out how happy you are (in case you weren’t sure) take this happiness quiz courtesy of the Queen of Happy Stuff.
I found the quest for happiness, like my quest to find the perfect goal-setting technique, exhausting and somewhat resembling a hamster wheel. I think the two may be blood relatives. Clearly I had given up on the concept of life satisfaction after my son was born but as I clawed my way out of that deep, dark hole I discovered a light to guide me.
The Interesting Life
A smart and quirky gal named Penelope Trunk (not her real name) wrote about being happy vs. having an interesting life. The first few paragraphs alone put the brakes on my squeaky happiness wheel. I realized going after interesting was not only simple for me but I could measure it as well. Not with a ruler or anything but doing interesting stuff seems a lot easier to quantify. Seeing as I’m actually weird masquerading as normal the task of living an interesting life is not much of a challenge at all. And I don’t like being challenged too often. Sometimes it’s nice to coast.
Out I go into the world, or into the living room, knowing I don’t even have to look for interesting because I only have to leave the door open and it will find me. Or, sneak up from behind and attack me (especially if I leave the door open). Now how often does happiness do that?
NOTE: I took the happiness test and apparently my score was “semi-happy”. I assume that is slightly better than mediocre. Although I’m feeling good today, if I had taken the test on a rough day alarm bells might have gone off.