There are some blogs I read, and people I know, that seem to have a better life than I do. An easier life. A more fulfilling life.
Their kids are easier. Their job is more satisfying. Their income is more ample. Their house is more guest-ready. Their marriage is more “he’s totally my soulmate.”
It would be easy to resent these people, and how good they have it. Some days I do. But most days I don’t, because I’ve been alive long enough to know that they don’t really have a better life than I do, they just have a WAY better attitude about it.
Some people just exude contentedness. They just seem super stoked to get up every morning and go through the motions. Sure they struggle, sure they work hard, sure they come up against adversity, but it never seems to get them down. At least not from anyone on the outside looking in.
And while I’m sure they are presenting a polished version of the way they feel, I’m also pretty sure they couldn’t be presenting that version, at least not as consistently and as well, if they didn’t feel pretty positive, despite the hard stuff. I really don’t believe you can’t “fake it until you make it” when it comes to general disposition.
Maybe you can?
I do not have a naturally buoyant attitude. Shit gets me down, a lot. I’m not sure where it came from–nurture? nature? anyone? Bueller?–but it’s there. It seems to be who I am. Perhaps I lack a certain resilience? Perhaps I’ve written into my software a certain sense of entitlement? Perhaps my hardware is glitchy, and there is nothing to be done.
But what if I want to be different?
Is this the kind of thing you change? Your general outlook on life? The way hard stuff makes you feel? What you choose to focus on? Is this what cognitive behavior therapy is about? Or is meditation and acceptance the answer? Will either tool truly change how I feel about something, or will they only give me options with which to react to those feelings?
I just wish I were one of the happy people, because I’m not, and it feels like I’ll never be.
And that is a shame, because for all intents and purposes I have a pretty great life. It seems like I shouldn’t feel so shitty about it so much of the time.