No matter how much additional fertilizer you want to put on it
The Grass is never greener on the other side and how to still be happy in that fundamental life truism
We live in an age of “wish we had” lifestyles..we watch the endless media tv shows as they parade into the homes of the rich and famous, the 24 year old superstar athlete who did not graduate college with his $ 18 Million house…and we wonder..what if..if we only hit the Lottery…that is how our culture wants us to aspire…we look…at Lifestyle. Opportunities. Wealth.
Just think how far we’ve come in the past 60 years—especially when you look at what we have today compared with grandparents generation who survived the great depression…my Dad’s da went from working with Thomas Edison…to frying hamburgers as short order cook..in a matter of days…..life was hard…you did what you did..and that was the way it was…
I am sure he dreamed about having the opportunity to transform his life…move to another city…but that was not something he could do…never really had a chance to take a vacation..he ended up opening a very successful hamburger restaurant..but in retail as you know there is no rest for the weary
Thanks to the world we live in and you reading this free form babbling of mine..we do live in an unprecedented age of technology unheard of…in our life…thanks to this WW technology, the Internet, and an improved society, our lifestyles are completely transformed. We have choices on who we meet (not just the girl down the street or in that small town you grew up in) , jobs you might never had known were available ..and in thosw choices..we can live pretty much anywhere we want. We can travel and see the world.
We can secure jobs on the other side of the planet. We can start our own businesses and serve clients thousands of miles away. It’s definitely an exciting time.
But when there is a wealth of opportunities, choices, and places where we could choose to live, you’d think we’d all be happy, right? Wrong.
You see, the problem with having choices is that we become restless. We can’t settle on what we already have or be satisfied with what we’ve got because we’ll always be wondering about the next big thing. We are a bit over the top on that attention deficit disorder syndrome in the age of technology and instant gratification…it is a bit like what someone once coined to me me in high school as “the grass is always greener” syndrome. We think someone else is having a better time elsewhere. We make ourselves miserable by constantly thinking about the unknown in an endless quest to find happiness.
We lie awake at night torturing ourselves over what we should do next, wondering if we’re missing out on something big. We feel we’re wasting our lives if we’re not doing something more important.
There’s also this sense of time pressure, particularly with my generation who had the saying “The World is yours for the taking” told to us by our well intentioned and optimistic parents at a young age…
So what does that do to our psyche…it creates a bit of a cognitive disssonace…we create this dichotomy of accepting the world as it is and an unrealistic sense of urgency, because we feel like we’re running out of time and should be doing something greater or somehow we’ll fail.
We also think we’re special and that our lives are destined to be adventurous, thrilling, and hugely successful. And when they’re not turning out that way? We become depressed. We want more. We get “grass is greener” syndrome and we want it now….
That’s when we become unhappy and spend all of our time and energy on focusing on what we don’t have rather than counting our blessings.
Some of us might start to move around a lot—often to find the “perfect” city or town, lose the old husband..start to want to explore something..or someone new…somewhere we can call “home,” somewhere we’ll be happy. Still others might jump from one job or relationship to the next, never fully committing to anything and somehow deluding themselves that they are “happy”..
But once we’ve made that leap to the other side—once we’ve moved to where we thought the grass would be greener and where we’d be happy—we discover that it is no different. We start to wonder about the grass being greener elsewhere.
We are never truly happy when we have “grass is greener” syndrome. It’s a fact. Focusing on things we don’t have will always eat away at you inside eventually..It only leads into the self doubt..of I don’t deserve this existence and we ten to lose sight on t what’s most important—and that’s what’s happening right now.
“If the world were merely seductive, that would be easy. If it were merely challenging, that would be no problem. But I arise in the morning torn between a desire to improve the world and a desire to enjoy the world. This makes it hard to plan the day.” -EB White
We all seem to be victims of ignoring what’s actually happening right at this very moment, which is only natural when we have so many choices and opportunities available to us.
We can all forget the whole point of happiness, and that’s internal peace of mind…acceptance, and mindfulness. Essentially, it’s being happy no matter where you are in the world, or what you’re doing, or whom you’re with.
I gravitated to the Zen mindset..though I was raised Episcopalian…growing up in my 20s around a key tenet in their belief system called mindfulness..
So what is Mindfulness? Continuous, clear awareness of the present moment. Always returning, whether from an enjoyable fantasy, an emotional outburst or a melancholy remembrance; always returning to this moment. Being fully here, present-moment after present-moment. This is mindfulness
Being Mindful…quiets the mind and brings us a sense of peace that no other quest for a “perfect life” could ever bring.
Mindfulness helps you to appreciate life as it happens. It stops us from agonizing over what might’ve been or what could be. It just brings us back to the present. This especially has helped me along the way in interpersonal relatiosnhips especially in my involvement with women..since not all of the women I have know have the same operator manual (that can be a blessing and a curse sometimes..that is a whole different blog writing…lol)
Don’t get me wrong—opportunity is a marvelous thing and I only wish my Grandfather 9who unfortunately I never met based away from cancer two years before I was born) had the choices I enjoy today. But I’m slowly coming to realize that my Grandfather just might have been just fine with his lifestyle.
He was quite possibly happier than me. His life was simple and perhaps there’s a clue in that. Maybe the simple life is where we can all find peace. Make life simple but not simpler someone very wise once told me.
Yes—embrace everything that comes along. Yes—go out and see the world and enjoy everything this life has to offer.
But whenever you feel yourself losing focus and wondering about where you’ll be happy next, bring yourself back to the present, look at what you already have, look around you and enjoy the moments that are happening right now.
Find peace in reading a good book, doing some gardening, going to a ball game, going for a walk in the countryside. Ride your bike…Take in the sights, smells, and sounds and try to brethe deeply..and focus on your surrounding… Start to notice what is happening right now, and I guarantee you’ll find peace.
Because happiness isn’t about where you live or the things you do. It isn’t about being on an impossible mission to do everything, see everywhere, and accomplish everything you ever dreamed.
The net of it all…is Happiness is a state of mind.
How you achieve it is by building a life around your current location. Making new friends, settling into a routine, finding ways in which to enjoy “the moment” rather than dwelling on all the things you could be doing or the places you could be visiting.
Remember that all we ever have is right now. Forget about the past. Don’t worry about the future. Take each day as it comes, and most of all, stop thinking that the grass is greener, because it never really is……Hope you all have a wonderful Easter too by the way…Peace…and I am out of here…. EP