Monday, August 10, 2015

Day 357: Can Eight Pairs Make You Happy?

Ironically I find it more difficult to find things to write about when I write less often than when I do it all the time. All the time means you need to think outside the box, be creative. Once in a while feels like it should be a catch up. For lack of any other bright ideas, I was going to tell you about the holidays we had been on since I became a slack writer/blogger—Jervis Bay (dogs in water) and the Gold Coast (dogs in hammocks)—but a couple of weeks ago I had a spell in which I was so-oooo-ooo blue. And it got me thinking about a different topic altogether: Do the people who do okay in the First World have the right to be unhappy?

Mr Earwig and the Earwig babies at Australia's, and maybe the world's, whitest beach: Hyams Beach, Jervis Bay

Because, really, I am doing okay. I have a job. Maybe it is a stressful, anxiety-producing and under, or not-at-all, appreciated job. Maybe it is a job that doesn't let me use my brain enough or my creativity at all. But it pays. Pretty well. I have a home. Our own home. Well one point one nine percent ours—the bank owns the rest, but that is a privilege in itself. I have people who love me: more importantly they put up with me. Not all of them are human. I have access to information and technology and health care (if I really, really had to!) and food, utilities and clothing and transport, clean water, books and education—I even live where there is a slightly more progressive social attitude to gender, justice and inclusivity (progressive I said, not perfect).


Given all that, I feel obliged to be happy. That makes being unhappy a lot, lot, well ... unhappier. Do you ever feel like this? I don't have high or unrealistic expectations of happiness; I know that contentment is a much better goal. Maybe it is chemical, maybe hormonal. Maybe it is the swing of life going in the other direction. Maybe I feel my life has no meaning or worth or value. Am I alone in this? In a world where we have everything we could want, what is it that would actually make us happy?


I have no idea. I don't know what drives me, I don't know what I want to be when I grow up (and that day is fast approaching, I am sure), I don't know what I am passionate about. Or maybe I do, but I am scared to commit to changing it in case it takes a lot of work and I decide I was wrong. Although, would that be any different to where I am now? Maybe nothing I do will make any difference; maybe life isn't dependant, at all, on what you do, but only how you look at what you do. Maybe I think about it too much. Maybe life is not meant to be any more than four days of the craziness of humanity lumped onto my screen at work to dispatch, and then four days of hiding under a blanket reading books and ignoring the state of the house! Maybe life is just absurd!

I believe there are two keys that will unlock the puzzle box: 'creativity' and 'meaning'. And I believe there is one thing that is willing me to, wishing I would, kicking me in the butt with spurs in the hope I turn those keys, even though I seem so reluctant—the idea of doing what I do for a living until I am seventy. Mortifying! Putting creativity and meaning into either of the four day blocks in my life (work or home) is what needs to happen. Working out how to do that is what is making me unhappy. Whether I have the right to be or not?

The very picture of unhappiness? Gold Coast, Queensland

But about the shoes. Pair eight is a new trend for me in two ways: they are neutral (I know!!) and they are from the op-shop (thrift store for you Northerners). I have managed to get a nice little thrifted collection of shoes recently—criteria being they fit, and that they seem unworn to the highest possible degree. These meet criteria.

The Outfit
Mohair jumper: Thrifted in the USA
Jackette: Op-shopped
Skirt: Op-shopped
Belt: Gold and Op-shopped
Shoes: Op-shopped


Photographer de Jour: Moi


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