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If You’re Not Happy Enough You Suck!

Is it just me or do you ever feel like you’re losing in the happiness race? Like if somehow you’re not in a perpetual state of satisfaction and bliss you’re a loser? And is there anything worse than being a loser? (Well, maybe being Charlie Sheen would be worse. Although he thinks he’s happy which is irritating.)

I get Allure magazine and Anne Hathaway is on the cover this month and the title next to her ridiculously beautiful face is “Anne Hathaway: Transforms Everything — Her Hair, Her Body, Her Life.”

Why did Anne Hathaway have to do that? Was there something wrong with her before she transformed everything? Was she simply too boring and dated and old news if she didn’t transform everything? I mean if Anne fucking Hathaway has to transform everything where does that leave me?

Then there was O Magazine’s coverage of 52-year old Dr. Toni Bark, a vegan, Dandelion pod make-up wearing zealot who has a repurposed silk trapeze mounted on her bedroom ceiling from whence she undulates like a spry Elden Nymph and must spend every waking hour keeping her homeopathic remedies ground to a fine silt while prowling farmer’s markets to harvest the latest okra, blueberry, pamponese qualamites to rejuvenate her scrapulapula. I just wanted to smack her with an organic loofa.

I want to be happier than the Bark lady while I drive my kids through McDonald’s for McFlurries. How dare she seem happier than me that ferrety wackadoodle. I’m the happiest. I’M THE HAPPIEST!

But really I’m not. I’m competitive about happiness and I’m sure it bleeds onto these pages. So if you ever read a post where I seem a little smugly happy just know — I’m as worried, tense, frustrated, annoyed and neurotic as you are. If you are. Which you better be or at least lie to me and say you are.

I think Happiness is a long con perpetrated by the ad industry. I’m done with happy. I’m going to replace Happy with: Purposeful with a side of Gratitude. For today. Until I see someone who seems to have it all figured out and I bludgeon them with fennel seeds.

I’d love to hear what you’d replace Happy with… xo S


Tags assigned to this article:
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31 comments

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  1. Missy
    Missy 29 June, 2012, 10:59

    I could not agree more with this: “I’m done with happy. I’m going to replace Happy with: Purposeful with a side of Gratitude.”

    I think everyone has confused happiness with contentment. Things, life, whatever don’t *make* us happy. We have to do that work, but we also have to remember that only Smurfs are happy all the time. We’re so much more complex.

    Reply this comment
    • Shannon
      Shannon Author 29 June, 2012, 18:01

      I like the Smurf reference. I’m always on the lookout for human Smurfs.

      Reply this comment
  2. Megan
    Megan 29 June, 2012, 11:11

    Engaged, with a side of not bored and topped with gratitude. I’m greedy like that.

    Reply this comment
  3. Rosie Carrillo
    Rosie Carrillo 29 June, 2012, 11:33

    “Happy” translates for me: as NOT miserable, anticipatory, serendipity, laughter, and occasionally walking in the rain! 😀

    Reply this comment
    • Shannon
      Shannon Author 29 June, 2012, 18:00

      BUt a warm rain. Not a cold frigid rain. More like a tropical rain, but not a monsoon. I think you can see why I have trouble with Happy.

      Reply this comment
  4. She
    She 29 June, 2012, 11:35

    I’d exchange happiness form calm. A calm that helps me slow down & enjoy what’s there. A calm that helps me stay levelheaded & patient. A calm that gives me perspective during adversity & clarity during challenges.

    Reply this comment
  5. Catalina
    Catalina 29 June, 2012, 14:22

    Joy is far more satisfying than happy. 😉

    Reply this comment
  6. OCMomActivities - Katie
    OCMomActivities - Katie 29 June, 2012, 15:48

    Happy? Yeah, no. But content, maybe. I’m content that I am on the road to being 100% happy. But I don’t think it’s possible to truly be happy and not have any problems at all, unless you are delusional…

    Reply this comment
  7. Mari Reynolds
    Mari Reynolds 29 June, 2012, 20:31

    There is no person more irritating than the competitive gratitude/happiness poster on facebook. Happy is BORING.

    Reply this comment
  8. Mitchell
    Mitchell 29 June, 2012, 23:48

    I understand .. we All want to be happy. But what is Happiness? Your alive right? I lost a friend to lung cancer yesterday. He was a drummer for the band Canned Heat. he also taught Drums at our business. I knew him for almost 10 years. He was always happy. He lived in a 1 bedroom house, his daughter was a drug addict, his ex-wife was always bothering him for alimony ( I hope I spelled that right) and he had all his teeth pulled out. for dentures , which he got at the Loma Linda dental school. and he smoked..
    That to me is a bad life.. I thought wow I couldnt do that. But you know what?? He was Happy.. when he would come to work he was always laughing and smiling. He would tell us stories about his touring days and doing the show Midnight special.
    So I guess what Im trying to say is. Happiness comes to each and everyone of us in different ways.

    Reply this comment
    • Shannon
      Shannon Author 30 June, 2012, 01:51

      Hi Mitchell — your comment is humbling. Life is messy. People are complex and wonderful. I’m so sorry for the loss of your friend. I’m a person who likes to put things in boxes and for them to stay in their designated box. People, things, my health and body. Change and unexpected curveballs scare the holy fuck out of me. But I’ve noticed when those things happen there’s a strange grace that comes into my life. And an uncommon humility for a person like me. It seems like some people are just born happy. And others of us struggle to achieve it, perhaps being happy and not even knowing it. Kisses to you. S

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  9. Stevie
    Stevie 30 June, 2012, 06:39

    “In the Brief Moment Between Chaos and Disaster” is close enough to happiness for me. Nothing bad happening? No one clamoring for my attention: “Mommy?” “Mommy!” “Honey?” “Is this Mrs. Taylor?” No person/pet dead or dying? I’ll take it!!! I prefer those moments with a bite of chocolate but I’ll take them without and double up on the chocolate at the next opportunity.
    Stevie@ruffledfeathersandspilledmilk.com

    Reply this comment
  10. Pattie
    Pattie 30 June, 2012, 08:17

    I love Mitchell’s response. I’m not where I WANT to be, but where I’m at isn’t half bad. I may not have reached my goal to be this multi-millionaire entrepreneur, but the fact that I get to be a SAHM? Awesome. AND I get to blog AND travel AND the husband comes home every day at the same hour? So great. I’m happy by my standards and honestly, if Anne H. thought that she had to transform her life and she’s happier now, kudos for her.

    Reply this comment
    • Shannon
      Shannon Author 30 June, 2012, 10:04

      Hi Pattie — I love Anne H. I don’t think she cared a fig about changing anything, but I do think the magazine was selling a headline which drives me nuts. It was like the “Are You Mom Enough” headline on Time a few weeks back. Media always trying to pit us against each other to sell copies.

      Reply this comment
  11. tania luviano
    tania luviano 30 June, 2012, 08:29

    i think you’re happy, when you don’t have to ask yourself is you’re happy, we have happy days and very bad days when we think we are so miserable, but it’s those little moments with my family when i feel calm and i guess happy!

    Reply this comment
    • Shannon
      Shannon Author 30 June, 2012, 10:06

      Hi Tania — for me I’m a live-in-the-future kind of gal. When this happens I’ll be happier, when that happens I’ll be happier. Don’t get me wrong, on a day to day basis there are several moments of gratitude, but there’s that noodge underlying it all.

      Reply this comment
  12. Mitchell Capalbo
    Mitchell Capalbo 30 June, 2012, 09:45

    Thank you Shannon I understand what you are saying and Yes Life is Fucking scary. I am not Happy at this point of my life. as I am striving to get a better job. A better place to live. and get out of this Rutt that I am in. But?? All I can do is pray and hope things get better. I hope the same for you too. Thank you Pattie for your comments too. and Yes Tania I believe you are right.. when you stop asking It must mean you are happy or dead lol

    Reply this comment
    • Shannon
      Shannon Author 30 June, 2012, 10:07

      Mitch you crack me up. It does think I live between happy and striving. And on a lot o days that’s a good thing.

      Reply this comment
  13. Desiree Eaglin
    Desiree Eaglin 30 June, 2012, 12:10

    Good question: What do I replace happiness with? Hmm…satisfaction I suppose. But not a complacent satisfaction in which I stop trying to do better.
    I’m with you on the happiness factor, I think it stresses people out trying to “BE” happy. I think that when we’re quiet and relaxed the satisfaction chimes in without a red flag notice.
    and p.s. I’m TOTALLY worried, tense, frustrated, annoyed and neurotic.

    Reply this comment
  14. Zoe
    Zoe 1 July, 2012, 13:44

    What does happiness even mean? In the classic definition it meant “blessedness,” which is related to a state of being. Somehow we now think happiness is just about feelings. Feelings come and go, dip and rise, and life is — as you and others have said — messy, and full of joy and sorrow, fear and hope, all mixed together. I think temperament plays a role in how someone approaches his or her life, but the happiest people I know live in a state of gratitude, as though everything is a gift, rather than an entitlement. Sometimes the best thing we can do is ignore the media headlines which sell us false ideas and tempt us away from what matters. “Purposeful with a side of gratitude” is right on the money, I think.

    Reply this comment
    • Shannon
      Shannon Author 2 July, 2012, 18:23

      Love this Zoe. And I love how you separate out “feelings” from a state of “blessedness.” Thanks for sharing your wisdom here.

      Reply this comment
  15. Carol D
    Carol D 2 July, 2012, 14:48

    I really think that happiness is over-rated. We are always told that we need to be happy, and we always forget that being content and grateful are so much better than “happy.” I know that I’m really neurotic about things and that it drives my husband crazy, but I also know that we are “happy” and grateful. I usually am the happiest when I go out of my box and do something that is not in the ordinary, routine way I do things. Then, I’m proud of myself and that makes me happy.

    Reply this comment
    • Shannon
      Shannon Author 2 July, 2012, 18:24

      Love this too Carol. I’m planning to go to Ethiopia the end of August. This is totally out of my box and I’m both nervous and thrilled to be doing it.

      Reply this comment
  16. marjorie
    marjorie 2 July, 2012, 22:15

    Happiness is not a goal; it is a by-product. — Eleanor Roosevelt

    Reply this comment
  17. joe webb
    joe webb 4 July, 2012, 01:01

    wake up each day and make a gratitude list with 5 things your grateful for..but start always with number one being breathing! oh look we are done we dont even need the other four…..now if i could just do this!..Joe
    your blog makes me happy…

    Reply this comment
    • Shannon
      Shannon Author 4 July, 2012, 13:19

      Joe! “Your blog makes me happy.” That’s the best compliment I’ve ever had! Thank you!

      Reply this comment

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