I'm flat as a tack today. It's probably the tail end of the stupid cold, a bit feverish and a bad night's sleep can take it out of one. There are gloves to be dyed and pressed today, lots of paperwork to read for a meeting, so I think an at-home day is needed, mind you half the day is gone already.
I've been thinking a lot lately about 'stuff', nothing particularly earth shattering, just contemplating life in general, then along came this post by Rohan, 'happiness vs content' which was exactly what I was pondering. I've been thinking of late how the whole blogverse could really get one down, too many aspirational photos of beautiful people/children/houses/holidays/possessions/clothes/food. I was wondering whether there are crowds of people out there feeling they could never achieve the edited 'happiness' they see online and the cynic that I am wondered about façades and anti-depressant medication. I steer clear of places like Pinterest and would much rather stick an occasional photo on the wall near my desk or having enjoyed an image for a little while, file it in my memory and move on.
I have always been a bit wary of 'happiness', I think it is fleeting and the push of societal pressure to be happy just freaks me out, the rise of online 'happiness projects' seems weird and vaguely creepy to me. Not every day is a happy day, some days are flat and grey and exhausting but that's ok, that's life, it goes up, it comes down. People often say to me how lucky I am to spend my days making stuff, how they wish they could do it. I always have a chuckle inside. This is my job and it is my life, it is sometimes fun and exciting but often the pressure (physical, mental , financial) is exhausting beyond belief. And I am not going to put a smiley face on and pretend I am not worn down by it all. The other thing people always say to me is that they like that I am honest in my blog, that I am never 'jolly hockey-sticks' and fake-ly cheery.
Which all leads to content. I don't live my life with a high 'happiness' quota but the last few weeks' thinking
made me decide I am 'content' and to me that is no bad thing. I don't have a partner, a child, own property, my holidays are pretty basic, if I was to separate my work possessions (mountains of stuff) from my personal then I don't actually own much (my home does appear quite full though). Content is the simple things in life. Funnily enough when I think about ways to describe content they are often about extremes or the little things... breathing in the steam of a mug of tea on a cold cold morning, feeling your toes thaw out after a winter walk, the smell and crack of a fresh made loaf of bread, the small pride in making something well... perhaps because Winter is a time to slow down, to nest and burrow oneself away, to find a quiet place deep in one's self.
There is nothing wrong with being content. There has been quite a lot of work looking at how we really need to slow down and find quiet times in our day. That without these quiettimes we are actually less creative and innovative. It takes a lot to switch off, to stop 'relaxing' with a bit of blogsurfing, to learn to sit quietly for a minute or two, to not wake up at 4 in the morning with our minds buzzing. Sometimes we need to be a turtle, slow and steady and carrying our 'home' with us, not our physical home but our content inner home, not racing about creating towering edifices but spending time on the simple things.