Throwing some insults at happiness
before bars were illegal
there were darkly lit rooms and house music
slurred wit that never pulled men in
a Jane Austen novel, millenial-style
later I sip a vodka soda
picking up phone numbers
at my litte sister’s wedding
desperation sinking in
like it only can when you’re thirty
still renting monthly
pouring bitters into a boozy Friday morning
loneliness shaken, not stirred
happiness in a sub-plot you
didn’t get a part in, you useless actress
pretending to be strong and independent
code for: couldn't get a man to stick around
happiness is unlike
lipstick that gets in your teeth
at a wedding speech
it ebbs and flows
stunts my growth
a real grown-up revelation
in the bar’s bathroom you’re puking in
Home economics should be a required class.
It used to be the "girl" class where you learned silly things like how to cook, sew, balance a checkbook, ha ha common sense stuff.
Except as it turns out common sense is actually not that common (nor only required for "girls") and nobody's realized yet that life skills like this actually matter - and we're not learning them at home.
We're facing an obesity epidemic; I can't tell you how many folks I know eat out four or five times a week because they never learned to cook.
We're facing rising levels of suicide/depression; I can't tell you how many people I know don't get their usual dose of endorphins from regular exercise or sunlight because they spend all day inside sitting in front of a screen.
We're facing rejected recylables and piling up landfills; I can't tell you how many young homeowners or renters I know who can't handle simple repairs and end up throwing out old and buying new on a constantly revolving cycle of disposability.
We're facing historical rises in living costs every year; I can't tell you how often I've met someone who thinks my job sucks (and they're right) yet their less-stressful gig(s) can't provide the kind of stability I sacrificed my sanity and dreams to achieve.
We're facing family fatigue as it becomes increasingly difficult to pay/care for kids, yet we can't be bothered to teach family planning/sex ed or provide any kind of flexible or reduced hours for parents/caregivers, despite our per capita efficiency rising exponentially over the last few decades to the point a 40 hour work week is honestly just a ruse for companies to get away with hiring fewer people by piling more work on less heads. I can't tell you how many friends I've got who have given up on children as financial impossibilities. The few that didn't had to put them off until much later in life when their energy levels can barely manage to keep up - or had them, only to disappear into misery trying to stay one step above poverty.
Yet we seem to think humanity can continue marching on, graduating high school and taking any-old-job, pumping out babies and somehow making ends meet like always. As Americans especially we don't really value education, community, and simple home ec skills.
We want easy paying gigs that got outsourced long ago to countries without the means to educate their population, because we don't want to bother with college.
We want fast food and cars to carry us and save us time, rather than communities with farmer markets and better walking scores, because convenience matters more than anything else.
We want all the freedoms of working wage slaves who spend their precious few off hours drinking or winding down, without the responsibilities of cooking, cleaning, or caring for homes or families.
But what if, though?
If our jobs weren't our only source of self-worth because they didn't drain all our daylight hours and energy?
If our communities focused more on sustainability and social equity, rather than making a quick buck on overworked, tired saps?
If our families all got home at the same time after a five hour day and could make dinner, play, and clean as a team?
If as a society we actually cooked whole meals, worked out three times a week, got eight hours of sleep not stress, and spent more time taking care of our home economics - instead of only focusing on the misery of economics as we know it?
Home economics should be a required class.
It should be a required way of life.
Happiness Does Not Bring Joy
Who needs happiness? Seriously, what has ever been accomplished by happiness? Do the paintings of Vincent van Gogh look like the work of a happy person? Was the life of Belisarius a happy one? Were any of the slaves that built the 7 wonders of the ancient world whistling while they worked?
Looking back at my life. Anything that I ever accomplished took a lot of effort, it took lots of time and sacrifices. Not once has "being happy" helped me accomplish anything. Not once has happiness brought me any kind of fulfillment or long-lasting peace. The times where I focused on myself, were also the hardest times to look in the mirror.
happiness, you're something that comes and goes
I have to stand tall to reach you on my toes
So damn fickle, ready to choose someone else
The moment I think about you, you stick out your tongue
And off you go to start another person's fun
You're a cruel thing, ready to crush my dreams
A sadistic smile knows all is not what it seems
When I find you, I'll squash you like a bug
So we'll all be the same - equally unhappy
Hedonic adaptation refers to the way a person's emotional state returns to an equilibrium following bursts of emotion.
So, no matter how much you surround yourself with the good things, it won't matter.
You're not happy.
You were happy,
but only for a moment.
The joy will leave.
The happy will leave.
Like sand through your fingers...
oh god I'm so lonely....