standards of happiness {ii}

I once stamped the word DRAFT on my arm to remind myself I was a work in progress.

standards of happiness {i}

From depths I could not fathom a voice inside me roared, “I AM ALREADY GOOD ENOUGH.”

And the tiniest of voices replied, “Okay. Now get better.”

standards of happiness

I’m on the path to lowering my standards for happiness.

Sometimes I feel like I have to work so hard to feel good when the bad feelings creep in and take up residence without me even noticing. If I can remind myself to enjoy the little pleasures of life whenever I happen across them, I will be that much closer to always being in a happy place.

People will probably think I’m silly, but I don’t care. If we all start looking for happiness actively, unhappiness won’t stand as much of a chance.

I’ll be sharing my little happinesses here every Saturday for as long as I continue to find them. They’ll be thoughts or feelings or experiences that resonate with me, but I’m encouraging anyone who reads this to think about their own petits bonheurs (Fr. little pleasures) and feel free to share them in the comments.

Housewives and Happiness

Housewife (n): a married woman whose main occupation is caring for her family, managing household affairs, and doing housework.

What is the deal with people hating on housewives? Feminists especially seem to see the designation as a kind of personal insult. As if the business of running a household is a demeaning occupation that all women everywhere should try to rise above.

May I be the first to disagree?

I’ve had this argument with my classmates, mostly because everyone has the same stereotype about housewives. You know, the desperate type; the dependent ones; the gold-diggers. If that’s what you’re calling a housewife, then no wonder there’s so much disdain for them. But that’s not really what being a housewife is supposed to be. At least, that’s not the way I think about it.

To me housewives don’t just spend their husband’s money and do nothing all day. They’re the backbone of the home. They cook and clean and make sure things run smoothly. They stay home with the children. They greet their husbands at the door. They write and blog and have interesting hobbies like hand-making DIY crafts out of mason jars. For the most part, they’re happy and fulfilled.

I do realize that my idea of housewives is a little idealistic but I just don’t see them as depressed or useless or boring. I don’t see why a woman who’s a housewife is any less of a woman than a woman who’s a doctor. Or the other way around.

People find fulfilment in different ways. You might feel a soul-deep contentment when you’re elbow deep in resecting someone’s colon cancer; I might get the same feeling from knowing my family is happy and well-fed. The goal as a woman – as a human being – is to find what makes you happy and do that, regardless of stereotypes and expectations*. We shouldn’t fight to fit into some predetermined mould at the cost of our peace of mind, and we ought not to judge someone whose source of happiness is different from ours.

I realize this is difficult and, again, I’m probably being idealistic. This is a world of compromised values and hurt feelings. Some of us like to think we’re a little better others and judge them accordingly but that isn’t what we should be doing, and it isn’t making us any happier. We strive for ideals everyday; we try to achieve perfection in a million different things. Why can’t happiness be one of them?

And while you’re off learning to be happy, try not to judge people who are doing the same.


*Although if torturing puppies and small children makes you happy, I would strongly encourage you to live up to society’s expectations of not being a sociopath.

It is okay to need help being happy.

Sometimes people feel sad, sometimes for no reason, and sometimes they get lost trying to find their way back to happiness.

Sometimes, people means me.

I don’t know if anyone else knows what I’m talking about. It’s like being trapped somewhere you don’t want to be, and having no clue about how to get yourself out. But you know the way out can’t be complicated, because see: there’s everyone else in the world out there not being sad. And that kind of makes you feel worse, too. Maybe I’m alone in this, I don’t know.

But this post is to remind me that it is okay; and I shouldn’t freak out when I am in that place because I always find a way out. Eventually. Most times all I need is a little help, and somehow the universe generally tends to push that help into my path.

So this post is also a little bit about gratitude. For being at a point in my life where I can admit that I need help (breathe), and for having that help made available to me.

Thank you.