Lee's blog: The Happiness Taboo
I am happy – is that a taboo thing to say as busy working mother of two with a loving although often absent (working and golfing!) husband?
I am happy – with my children, they are mostly very funny, healthy, adaptable and resilient little things.
I am happy – with my job, having put in the hours and effort over the years I am in a very good position where I can create a lot of my own core work, have a boss who not only trusts me but supports me and I actually like the work that I get to do.
I am happy – with my location , three years ago I left the crazy busy London and relocated to a beach town which I adore I can walk for 5 minutes and feel like I’ve reached the edge of the universe, the sea water calms me in a way I never knew I needed.
I am happy – with my self care, podcasts, running, beach walks, rambling voice notes to friends, baking and daily coffees keep me ticking along.
I am happy – with my family and friends, right now I am lucky that all are well and even if something occurs I hope that my base case of happy will allow me to help in the right ways.
I am happy - now let me be clear this does not mean that I float through my days without getting irritated at towels thrown on the floor or worrying I’ll arrive at the wrong time at the wrong child care facility but overall on the grand scale I sit firmly on the happy side.
And yet when the question “how are you?” is asked I hesitate. I muster through my brain to try to find a response that I feel is societally acceptable. I often say “tired” (true but who isn’t!?) or the even more vague “Oh you know”. I very rarely say “great” or “happy” but why not? I guess because so much of what we hear and read about is the struggle, the struggle is real, the pressures on people, the busy mentality and I wonder would a simple “I’m happy” response sound like I am gloating or smug?
Is being happy a taboo? How can I be happy with my lot? Perhaps I should be striving for more from myself? The multitude of self care and self help agendas and the growth of the wellbeing industry would have me believe that happiness is a unicorn, something that cannot possibly be held on to. And yet here I am just happy today and for most of my days – maybe I should just start saying so and maybe find some other secretly happy people too!
Lee is a mum, accountant, coffee lover and sometimes runner. She is married, has two young girls and works mostly remotely for a London based bank.