Wednesday, December 2, 2009

I can't get no satisfaction... no no no

Hubs and I were tucking into bed a few nights ago, and all indicators were there for a decent night's sleep. It was actually early for once, and we threw an extra quilt on the bed, so we were warm and cozy and finally, after a week of sleeping in a hotel room with both kids, relaxed.

But I had something on my mind.

"Hubs," I whispered, "are you awake?" He mumbled something that sounded affirmative, so I continued. "Do you think I am a happy person?"

The question was the slippery stepsister of the do these pants look too tight inquiry, a minefield to be avoided at all costs, and especially in the dark with precious sleep mere minutes away, but I caught him off guard and half asleep, so he indulged me. While we were visiting a friend over Thanksgiving she asked about me being at home or maybe she didn't ask, more likely that I brought it up. She's a lawyer and counting the days until retirement, so the fact that I am unhappy about not working is a complete source of amusement to her. As the discussion continued she said something that gave me pause. "Some people just aren't programmed to be happy." Um, okay. Whoa.

I grilled Hubs. Am I one of those unhappy people? Admittedly I tend to be a little cranky, this is mental momma, but unhappy? I certainly don't see myself that way. Could he remember how I'd been when I was working? Was I saying the same things then?

He had been in on the original conversation and assured me that it wasn't happy as much as satisfied. I do tend to be the type of person who likes a big thing looming on the horizon. I thrive on personal achievement and having my own thing. The problem is that I also like a pretty clear path to that thing. A plan. So if I knew for sure that I would only be home for two more years and if I felt confident that going back to school to get a masters was the right choice, or I had a pile of money waiting for the right time to open another store, or I knew that getting a writing job was as simple as applying for one, then I might be more satisfied with where I am now. The looming thing would have a solid shape instead of being this vague future concept. Right now there are a ton of unknowns, so yes, I guess I am a little unhappy with that.

Finally, the conversation ended and Hubs drifted off to sleep about two seconds later (how does he do that?). Of course, I was awake for awhile, rolling the happiness thing around a little longer. I am not exactly miserable being at home with the kids right now, but it doesn't feel like a fit. I really wish it was, but the truth is that I am probably never going to enjoy it as much as I should. And not being able to count on the next thing causes me all kinds of aggravation.

However, it is a relief to realize that satisfaction and not happiness is really the issue. I think I am a happy person.

Still, being satisfied might be even harder to achieve.

1 comment:

Linda said...

1st of all, no one likes being an attorney but they probably like saying they're an attorney. 2nd, don't you hate how husbands fall asleep in 2 seconds flat? They probably hate how we want to have deep conversations while they're trying to fall asleep!