A theme I’ve seen lately is that everyone I know, sometimes even including me, is just miserable. Maybe we are miserable because our kids are bouncing off the walls or financially we are miserable because no matter how we save we can’t seem to get out of debt. Maybe, and perhaps the worse, is that we are miserable because of our job or our relationship- two things that take an enormous chunk of time and emotion to deal with.
I’ve struggled with these feelings as well, and I think it’s pretty normal for the ebb and flow of how life goes. One good day, two bad. One good kid, one kid mooning their kindergarten teacher. Such is life.
But being miserable? That is not a part of life.
Let’s clarify. If your hamster dies, you can be miserable. That’s sad and it hurts, and then after some time it’s not so painful and no longer miserable. BUT. If your relationship makes you miserable because Nancy accidentally made that dinner you hate or Will was abducted by a demigorgon (sorry, playing Stranger Things the Game right now) those are not “miserable qualifiers”.
Here’s why: if Nancy made you dinner and you hate it, make your own dinner. If Will was abducted, go find his stick self! If your boss gets angry because you were late turning in a project and now you’re in trouble- don’t turn in late projects! This isn’t to say that we need to do everything ourself for things to work out- this is to say we need to take some responsibility for our own happiness and stop waiting around for other people to fulfill that.
Now I know it’s not that easy, especially with kids. Your child will continue to stick boogers under the table while you’re not looking- that’s their sole job right now. They will “accidentally” forget to clean out their lunch box for the 6th time in a row and you really shouldn’t be surprised by that.
Kids will be assholes. Bosses will be assholes. Sometimes partners will be assholes. AND THAT IS NORMAL. (I bet even sometimes you’re an asshole too. It’s okay. I won’t tell anyone)
The thing is- you can’t change a freaking thing about this. You can’t hold your kid upside down until they promise to clean their room, or force your spouse to take out the trash if they don’t want to.
But this is what you can do.
- Find a new job
- Talk with your spouse (likelihood they know they are being an ass is pretty slim)
- Find a creative outlet where other people don’t mess up your beautiful things and you can find something to cherish within the world of assholes.
- Realize you can’t control others or make them do anything they aren’t willing to do
- Learn that any change you want to see starts from within
- Stop expecting to be happy all the time and stop beating yourself up when you have a bad day
- Know that everything is temporary
- Know that things really aren’t that bad, you’re just in the midst of it and so it seems bad.
- Stop making excuses and blaming other people for your downfalls and start taking initiative.
You see. You can’t change Nancy, or Will, your spouse, boss, friend, kid, parents. You can only change YOU and the things YOU do. The sooner we realize that and start to take some initiative the better things will be.