What does your happiness actually look like minus the stress and guilt

“There are two things to aim at in life; first, to get what you want; and after that, to enjoy it. Only the wisest of mankind achieve the second”.

 ~ Logan Pearsall Smith

 An excepted understanding of life is that it moves in cycles. These cycles refer narrowly to our own lives and broadly to humanity overall. Throughout time there is a resurgence of past eras working as inspiration for the future. This resurgence involves fashions, lifestyle habits and values. I am now in my 30’s and have watched attempts at reviving aspects of eras gone by many times in many different incarnations from the 1970’s fashion of bell bottom pants to the scrunchy crazes and tie dye clothing of the 80’s; remakes of both songs and movies and the current revival of 1960’s furniture. Another currently trending revival is the attempt to live more simply and organically ~ just in a more complicated and stressful way.

Humanity continues to evolve socially but it is undisputed that we are currently living in a world dominated by stress and anxiety attributed to the lack of balance in our personal lives. We have become time poor and consequently living an unsatisfactory life. We always seem to be chasing the illusive dreams of being able to achieve happiness based on certain life markers drawn by societal expectations and those we draw for ourselves. In reality, these markers may never be crossed. Does that mean we will never be as happy as we want to be?

We work hard to create the life we desire ~ long work hours and lots of energy in molding such an existence but then we are often too tired to truly enjoy it. It has been stated many times over that we now have bigger homes but less people living in them and less time spent in them. We spend so much time building our careers and less time enjoying it. We spend so much time stressing about being healthy and less time putting things in place to achieve this. We spend so much time living with guilt at not giving family time they deserve and almost feel as though we are living in a cycle of unhappiness and resentment at our life’s responsibilities.

There has been much written about in helping our society achieve balance and happiness. To be frank, I am tired of being bombarded by articles that preach to have the answer to our first world concerns because in reality, if we were to follow the ascribed ten steps to happiness written on every life aspect, our lives would never achieve any sort of balance but will continue to raise our levels of stress and anxiety at not achieving the accepted happiness. While these articles may be helpful to some, I have started to look at them as though they are condescending and trying to break my soul down until it neatly fits into a mold. My soul is too big for a mold of any sort – nor does it deserve to live as one.

Life and how it is lived is subjective ~ that is the essential beauty of it. We chose what our happiness looks like and how we wish to achieve it. There is a false conception of what our happiness should be.


What does your happiness actually look like?


Taking a step back for a moment as I ponder this very question, I reminisce on my childhood. It was happy ~ it was simple.

We grew our vegetables and ate healthily together at dinnertime around the kitchen table. We bonded as a family in the backyard tending to the veggie patch or playing sports games. On weekend drives we breathed in the fresh air and enjoyed walks and swims and relaxation in the outdoors. We watched the sunrise as we drove out early to a far destination. We listened to the music that happily flowed from the radio.

Our way of life wasn’t the exception, nor was it hippie – it was just life and how my family chose to spend our time. We weren’t preoccupied with finding a balance nor were we stressing about how to do it all… we did what we could and how it worked for us.


Perhaps we should try to stop reinventing the wheel and take life back to basics.

Life is not meant to be overcomplicated – Life is meant to be lived, to be embraced and to be enjoyed.


“There are two things to aim at in life; first, to get what you want; and after that, to enjoy it. Only the wisest of mankind achieve the second”.


Here’s to molding a life of happiness ~ the way happiness looks to me and maybe one day I can achieve the wisdom of succeeding at enjoying the happiness I want…


~ F.P


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