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Saturday, 29 March 2014

Which way is up?

I wrote yesterday about my feelings and I hope you were not troubled in reading them.Because I worried that I might have upset you with my vague uneasiness about the future.


So with that in mind, I discussed it with a group of friends and I made a startling discovery...they all felt pretty similar to how I felt. And yet each and every one of them was in the complete opposite of my own personal situation.


Here was a group of women who also feared what the future held...who also felt that their lives were lacking in some way. And I got to wondering whether this was endemic in our society or whether it was just testament to the old saying of 'misery loves company'.


But the truth has got to be something deeper hasn't it? Religion or lack of it has no bearing on the discussion as some of the women were true believers and others strict atheists.


Finances seemed to have no bearing either as some of the women came from affluent households and others of more modest ones.


Nationality and the idea of culture that is born from this played no part, as I was born in Scotland, one of the women was Irish and the others English.


Finally educational status was no indicator either as levels ranged from University education to local comprehensive to village school. Some of the women went out to work, some did not.


Many years ago I remember reading something about how all of the above both singly and in combination can affect a person's potential to feel happy about life.  I believe the term was coined 'happiness quotient' although it was a long time ago and I may be mis-remembering it.


So what is wrong with us all...why this apathy and worry? Mid-life crisis? I think that is too glib an answer. I also think the truth lies much, much deeper and some of it does indeed stem from childhood.


We are taught from a young age that meeting someone and settling down with them is the ultimate goal. Its the sugar coated ending on the romantic comedy, the finale of many novels and films. But its not the end, in fact it is only the beginning. However it is a beginning that is perhaps more mundane than the lead up to it. It is the start of routines and seeing the same face sitting across from you every morning and having the same conversation time and time again.


I am no psychologist or anthropologist but I think that maybe it doesn't have to be that way. The happiest couples in my social circle have active hobbies which they do together and continue to learn from. They socialise regularly with other couples and they talk about their issues and problems with an honesty and forthrightness that allows them to be fully understood.


Talk might be cheap but it is also invaluable. Just make sure you mean what you say.

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