TUESDAYS WITH JORDIE: Happiness is a gift to be shared
IS it not enough just to be happy?
I feel like society’s scrutinising gaze is becoming more critical with each passing day, carrying more weight among the endless list of pressures in our lives already.
Happiness is almost on the brink of becoming a luxury these days as we are swallowed up in the stress storm that we call life. Suddenly the finer details are at the forefront of conversations and they are overshadowing the important points.
Here is a snippet of the checklist that supposedly determines if we are living a socially acceptable life:
- Have you been to university?
- Have you got a job with your degree or qualification?
- Have you met someone?
- When are you having kids?
- Have you travelled the world?
- Have you moved out?
- When are you getting married?
- Bought a house?
I haven’t been asked all of these questions directly but it is a common list that seeps into many conversations and they quietly chip away at an individual’s confidence.
It’s not fair to hold these expectations or presumptions. Everyone’s version of happiness is different and only we can decide how we want our life stories to play out. It’s like this checklist is a template everyone is expected to follow to establish fulfilling and successful lives.
We each have every right to commit to our plan and do life on our own terms. Only we will know if and when we are ready to take major (or minor) steps, if we even want to take those steps at all. We are entitled to make our own decisions and do whatever we can to protect our peace and happiness.
Marriage is not always a pre-requisite for two people to live a long happy life together. Having children isn’t a piece that completes everyone’s puzzle and that’s okay. Move out when you are ready physically, mentally, financially and wholeheartedly. You don’t need to have a degree to make a meaningful contribution to the world so if university isn’t in your personal plan, don’t let anyone pressure you to add it in. You can make a monumental difference through sheer common sense, drive and passion.
The most crucial questions I wish we could ask more often instead are:
- How are you really doing?
- Are you genuinely happy?
- I can see you’re carrying the weight of the world on your shoulders, is there anything I can do to help lighten the load?
- Are you taking care of yourself?
- Are you taking time to enjoy life?
No one else gets to decide what we do with our lives and if or when we do certain things. We are not following the same template.
Let’s just be happy for each other and support everyone out there doing their best, trying to discover their version of happiness. Seeing someone happy is a gift within itself.
Because in a world brimming with endless opportunities, shifting circumstances and unpredictable tomorrows, doing your best, following your heart and being happy is absolutely enough.