This post is for you. Yeah, that’s right: YOU.
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.
Do you have to share?
Yes, I really think you do – because you are the Half Empty People.
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.
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.
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…
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.
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?
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.
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?