Declare Your Independence from Misery and Do the Rest of Us a Favor

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This post is for you.  Yeah, that’s right:  YOU.

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Okay, not ALL of you.

Let me re-phrase. This post is for those of you determined to live your lives as if they are still life studies in moodiness and despair. If the sun is shining, it’s too hot. If it’s a rainy day, you long for sunshine. There are some of you for whom it is always too hot, or too cold, or too cloudy or too, too, too something or other.

I don’t mind if you want to be miserable. This is America; if being miserable is your idea of the ‘pursuit of happiness,’ well, then, have at it.

But, geez…

Do you have to share?

Yes, I really think you do – because you are the Half Empty People.

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Instead of embracing hope or opportunities, you live your lives in the shadows, seeing all that you lack instead of all that you have – or could have. Because you’re miserable, you’re determined to make sure others are, too. It’s easier to drain the happiness of others than attempt to achieve something on your own, isn’t it?

Why are you so damned unhappy? All that negative energy that you’re expending to make me feel miserable would be better spent in making yourselves feel more productive, challenged, or engaged with life.

People like you have been around for centuries. As scary in your way as Nosferatu was in his, you are the psychic vampires who suck the energy out of all of those with whom you come in contact. As soon as you enter a room, all cheeriness, optimism and happiness is sucked out of it.

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Is it because you’re frightened that someone may achieve something that you might not? Is it the idea of someone trying to fulfill a dream, even one that is a long shot, that makes you so… um… well… bitchy?

I’m sorry, but it has to be said. You’re not hurting just me; you’re hurting yourselves. No one wants to be around people who take the heart out of them.

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I once knew a woman who declared it only rained when she had plans to go out. When she stayed in, the weather was always perfect – but Lord Have Mercy! – if she were actually invited somewhere (which wasn’t that often), it was sure to rain. You see, even the Heavens conspired against her, and she habitually railed at the cosmic injustice of it all.

I knew another person who was afraid to learn to drive. She lived her life in fear that her neighbors would laugh at the idea of her attempting something new. She never invited anyone to her house. She was too fearful that ‘they’ (the imaginary people who were the arbiters of all her actions, thoughts and happiness) would criticize her modest home. She spent hours considering the statements that came her way, even those that were innocent, convinced that the person making them was having a go at her.

She was pretty miserable, spending all that time worrying about the thoughts, remarks and behavior of others. She spent so much time worrying about others that she had no time for living her own life. She was too busy allowing others to live it for her…

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Perhaps best of all are the nasty-nice folks, the ones so adept at finding the soft underbelly of any situation and going for it like… well, like a vampire going for the jugular.

Yeah, I’ve known a few of you, too. You are the people who ask me what I’m up to, and then sigh, smiling sweetly, when I say I’m writing. “That’s nice, Kate. How does your husband feel about that? I hope you don’t spend all your time in front of a computer! Be careful that you don’t become obsessed with silly, unimportant things.” That little dart was delivered by an old college friend. She hadn’t seen me in years, but her aim was sure and true.

Wham! Not only did she insinuate I was neglecting my family, but passed judgment on my writing: it was unimportant. Silly.

A psychic vampire strikes again! And, like a whipped dog, I slink away, my tail tucked between my legs and my head low to the ground.

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But only temporarily – fortunately, I have a supportive husband who laughs at these sorts of remarks and helps me gain perspective.

Even so, is it any wonder no one wants to see you or spend time with you? Life for you, and others like you, is… well, a crap sandwich, and the unhappiness of others is your mayonnaise of choice.

I began this post with a quote from Abraham Lincoln, one that I feel has a lot of merit. Most of us truly are as happy as we choose to be. You can seek opportunities to make your own life more fulfilling or you can look for ways and words to bring others down. My question to you is why don’t you worry about your own life – and not mine? Wouldn’t it make you happier in the long run?

External situations do not always dictate our happiness. If Stephen Hawking or Joni Eareckson Tada can have fulfilling lives, why can’t you?

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Happiness isn’t predicated on youth, either. You can always find something to engage you at any point in your life. Helen Hooven Santmyer’s book, And Ladies of the Club, was published when she was 88 years old; Grandma Moses did not begin to paint until she was in her late seventies and arthritis prevented her from pursuing her first love, embroidery.

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I guess what I’m saying to you is get a life! And leave mine alone.

Today is Independence Day. Do yourselves a favor. Declare your independence from your own damned negativity.

Decide to stop bringing everyone else down, and grab yourself a little happiness.

I mean, really, isn’t it about time?

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About Kate Loveton

Aspiring novelist. Avid reader of fiction. Reviewer of books. By day, my undercover identity is that of meek, mild-mannered legal assistant, Kate Loveton, working in the confines of a stuffy corporate law office; by night, however, I'm a super hero: Kate Loveton, Aspiring Novelist and Spinner of Tales. My favorite words are 'Once upon a time... ' Won't you join me on my journey as I attempt to turn a hobby into something more?
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30 Responses to Declare Your Independence from Misery and Do the Rest of Us a Favor

  1. Life is way too short to be “too cool” for things – I hate that attitude! You say it so well in your post.

  2. W. K. Tucker says:

    Kate, I read that quote of Abraham Lincoln’s many years ago, and it literally changed my life; I realized that my happiness rested in my own two hands and no other’s. So…I decided to be happy, grateful what I had and not concentrate on what I didn’t have.
    I can’t remember the quote verbatim–or what source it came from–but there’s one about feeling sorry for themselves because they had no shoes until they met the man who had no feet. Anytime I start feeling a little bit down, all I have to do is look around–and not far–and see just how lucky I am.
    Well said and well written. 🙂

  3. J. Sander says:

    You’re awesome Kate! Your writing voice is spectacular, and even though you were blunt it was needed. Another great post 🙂

    • Kate Loveton says:

      Thank you! 😀 You’re very kind. I ran across a You Tube video that another blogger posted that really speaks to this topic. I may reblog her post later in the week if I can find it once again. It was an amazing testament to the optimism of the human spirit. It concerned a young man who recently passed away. His name was Sam Bern and he suffered from progeria, an illness in which the bodily ages at a greatly accelerated pace. HIs optimism, his happiness and can-do spirit was something – and in the face of incredible odds.

  4. willow1945 says:

    I very much enjoyed your post–I used to be a very negative person and learning how to be happy is one of my greatest accomplishments. And we all need encouragement and reinforcement in that direction, so thanks!

  5. Heartafire says:

    Life is a bowl of cherries…thank you! BTW, as well as having the right to write about one’s troubles ( some actually feel it is good therapy for them) we also have the right not to read.

    • Kate Loveton says:

      Absolutely!

      But this blog post isn’t about people writing about their troubles – at least, it isn’t meant to be. It’s about the people that we meet – and I’m convinced we’ve all come into contact with one or two of them – who rain not only on their own parade, but the parades of others.

      Thanks for weighing in. 🙂

  6. mihrank says:

    I can’t find the words to express my appreciation for such great, wonderful blog. Bravo!!

  7. markbialczak says:

    Some people can’t be even a little bit happy unless they are totally miserable. That’s so unfortunate. You self-chosen grumpsters best leave Kate alone from now on.

    That college friend who dumped on you for writing? That’s the worst. Hey, lady, we writers have value! And our spouses love us, too. 🙂

  8. Strong words, but of course you right. It’s easy and understandable to let your attitude and words slip with negativity. It’s when we allow it to affect and dictate to us, that’s when the HABIT of negativity takes over. For every negative thought I have, I try to correct it with two positive ones. I’m happy, today. Have a lovely day yourself 😉

    • Kate Loveton says:

      Just so, Cindy! 🙂 We are, as humans, occasionally given to passing bad moods and negativity. It is when those moods become permanent, when they keep us from achieving things that might bring us fulfillment, and when they cause us to say or do things that hurt others that they become a problem. I’m sure I’m not the only person who has met people like this; fortunately, I’ve only known a few of them. Even one or two, however, is plenty! 😀

  9. ‘Life for you…..is like a crap sandwich, and the unhappiness of others is your mayonnaise of choice.’

    These have to be the most prophetic and right-on words that I’ve heard for a long time. Seriously Kate, I agree with everything you said and the manner in which you delivered the message was just right. Why do some people feel as if they have the right to drag us down with their own misery?

    It’s a facet of human behaviour that I’ve never managed to get my head around, why people take pleasure in hurting and bringing down those around them. Life is hard for all of us but maybe it would be made a lot easier if people concentrated on their own lives instead of picking holes in others.

    Great post, Kate. I loved it! ❤

    • Kate Loveton says:

      Hi Heather, you understood exactly what I was getting at with regard to my puzzlement (and shortness) with people who take pleasure in being miserable and in hurting others. I think some people are paralyzed by fear or a lack of self-esteem, and it causes them to HABITUALLY pick and moan. At its worse, it causes some people to make belittling remarks under the guise of concern.

      All of us (mea culpa!) engage in moments of griping or unhappiness, and those are not the people I was referring to in my post. No one is perpetually sunny, or never subject to passing moments of gloom. That’s not what I meant. It is those who make unhappiness a way of life, and seem incapable of ever seeing anything good in situations or in others, that drag us down.

      There are some people that do just suck the life out of you, and leave you sad long after you’ve left them. Heck, who needs that? Not me! 🙂

      • I totally agree, Kate.

        We all have our ups and down in life but it is how we deal with them and move past them that counts. There are people out there who allow their embittered past to define who they are now and they seem to use it as some sort of excuse to go around spreading their misery onto others.

        I think we all need to stop investing so much time in relationships with people who never seem to benefit us in any way. We all deserve to be happy and have the right to walk away from those who make us miserable or deliberately try to hurt us.

  10. Linda Smith says:

    Right on the money Kate.

  11. Mark Baron says:

    How can I be miserable when I have so many beautiful words to read? 😉

    Life is what we make of it. Some people make a grand feast. Some only know how to make mud. 😉

    • Kate Loveton says:

      Hi Mark! You also have beautiful words to write, and stories that bring a lot of us – especially me – a great deal of enjoyment.

      I liked your statement about life being a grand feast and how some only know how to make mud. That’s true, and it’s very sad – for them, as well as us. Thanks for weighing in. 🙂

  12. Kudos to you, Kate, forgiving us a huge ‘buck up’ and reminder to count our blessings and rejoice in them. Especially today, when we have so much to celebrate. Aren’t we lucky!
    Thanks also for including my favorite A.A. Milne character. I’ve always wanted to give Eeyore a big hug and remind him of his wonderful friends. I read And the Ladies of the Club when it first came out and have reread it recently. Great choices of testimony to the strength of the human spirit.
    Here’s to the half FULL glass!

    • Kate Loveton says:

      Hi Noelle, I loved the book And the Ladies of the Club. I’ve read it twice since its publication. I was astonished to learn the writer was 88 when the book was published, and that it had been her only book.

      It is good to count our blessings! 🙂 This post wasn’t so much a reminder to good folks to count their blessings as much as it was my complaint against those who enjoy spreading unhappiness.

      I’m lucky – I have good readers who don’t fit that category!

  13. I’m trying, Ms. Bossy Pants!! 😉 I couldn’t agree more, my dear. Happy 4th Of July!!

    • Kate Loveton says:

      Hi Audrey. No need for you to try anything, my dear. You are a warm and generous person, and this post was not written with people like you in mind, or any of the folks who have weighed in here. This post was about those folks who enjoy being unhappy and try to make others unhappy too. Miss Audrey doesn’t fit that category at all. 🙂

  14. Bravo, Kate! or should that be Brava, Kate? Either way, jolly well said.
    In the words of Sam Cooke – “You’ve got to accentuate the positive, eliminate the negative, latch on to the affirmative but don’t mess with mister in-between.”
    As for the naysayers (lovely word, that), while a note of caution is often worth keeping for background consideration, sheer negativity is often based on a resentment of the very possibility that someone can dare to try (and potentially succeed with) something the naysayer doesn’t have the courage, the nous or the ability to attempt themselves.

    • Kate Loveton says:

      Hi Keith, you got what I was getting at completely. This was a post about people who go through life determined to be miserable and, for many a reason, share that misery with others. It has nothing to do with the occasional griping we all might indulge in as much as it is a meanness of spirit that some people possess. Thanks for weighing in! 🙂

  15. Kate Loveton says:

    Hi ya, Lucy! 🙂 Just read your note. I would never put you in the category of the people written about in this post. Never!

  16. Lucy says:

    Words escape me. I just sent you an email complaining. Ignore it. Did something bite you in the ass? Hahahaha. It scared me at first but I quickly recovered and I couldn’t find any mention of a writing challenge. You’d make a good motivational speaker. You certainly motivated me. Really, ignore my email. Lucy

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