Thursday, January 6, 2011

One of those "what does it all mean" things

(I am indirectly lobbying Kathy to watch High Fidelity with me
by showing her what a culturally significant movie it is.)

Yesterday, I wrote about how I suddenly realized that it was possible that I was not miserable because I hated my job, but maybe that I hated my job because I was miserable.  The advice that I had gotten at that time was that it didn't really matter, but that breaking the cycle of unhappiness was important, and leaving the job was a way to break that cycle.  True.  But also.

There are other areas of my life that need work.  One I ranted about frequently during the holidays was that I didn't have enough time to myself, to do the things that I wanted to do.  This has actually been true for a long time.  It occurred to me last night that perhaps part of the resentment I feel toward the job and it's all-consuming nature is that I spend a good portion of my "free time" also doing things I don't want to do.

Quitting the law firm job is probably ultimately going to be the best move for me.  But in the meantime, I think it's important to make smaller, more manageable changes.  What I mean is that if I spend my "free time" doing things that I enjoy and that rejuvenate me, I might feel a little better about getting up each day for the rat race.  That way, I can assess when is the right time to quit, what are the right reasons to quit, and what to do next, with a much clearer head.  Which will, I think, contribute to my overall happiness. 

But this is where the "what does it all mean" thing comes in.  Early on in this blog, I said that I would leave for another day whether "satisfaction" is enough.  Is the point, really, to be "happy," or "satisfied"?  Why do we make changes, if not to be happier or more satisfied?

I don't mean to tell you in a 6 paragraph blog post what the meaning of life is.  I don't actually propose to answer that question at all.  This blog is about making hard changes in life, for whatever reason or reasons.  Certainly there is value in making decisions that make me happier and more satisfied.  But that can't be all that it is, because life is about more than just being happy.  Life will always have challenges and struggles and misery and loss.  Life is messy.  Sometimes those messes will make you have feelings other than happiness and satisfaction.  Which has value too.

Anyway, I'm going to work on making small, manageable changes in the areas of my life over which I have some control.  I am doing this because it will make me happier, yes.  Ultimately, and on a deeper level, I am doing it because it will make my thinking clearer, and help me to determine whether bigger changes are right for me and my family.  But I don't think that life is an evolution, and we keep making changes because we are striving toward this final place of constant happiness.  I think we make changes because we are like sharks, and if we stop swimming, we suffocate.

1 comment:

  1. I've never been a fan of happy. Happy, to me, is situational and fleeting. Satisfaction, however, is huge. I doubt you will be satisfied until you quit. Happy is temporary. And my god, High Fidelity is an awesome movie and definitely K should see it immediately. I love that movie. "Charlie! You fucking bitch! Let's work it out!"