Tag Archives: Sad

The Dark Side of Happy

I recently updated my “about me” to include a few rules. One of them is that I have to tell the dark side of being happy. There is one. And, although it’s not around the majority of the time, it does drop by for a cup of tea every few weeks.

“You can’t know happy without knowing sad.” – My Dad

That’s true actually, you can’t recognize the happiest moments of your life unless you have something to compare them to. On that same token, everyone’s moments operate on a different scale. Your sad may be MUCH sadder than mine. I think that’s the case as people get older and they experience more loss and hardship. But that’s also why, as people get older, they have the opportunity to really find happiness. Because they can find it in the smallest of victories, the smallest of successes and joys. Middle school sucked. I had very little sad in my life so every tiny thing that went wrong seemed catastrophic. Back then, my biggest crush completely ignoring me was heart breaking. My definition of heartbreak shifted massively when he died in his sleep ten years later at the premature age of 24.

With every big life experience, my happy/sad scale shifts, but that doesn’t mean I can ignore the three-day stints of deep melancholy that seem to creep up on me. They happen about once every few weeks in the Winter and once every month or two in the Summer. It’s almost like I can feel when they’re coming. I can fight them off for days but something always triggers a breakdown. Last week, it was my wonderful Google Hangout session with my girlfriends. I’d been sleepless, working a lot, and having some lonely days. Then I saw their smiling, beautiful, happy faces, and my self-pity just threw me over the edge.

So accepted it. I let myself be sad for 24 hours. I forgave myself for the 20 minute cry session and for being morose for a day. Every happy person has to come down from that plateau high up in the sky. Happiness takes work and sometimes you just need a break.

After the 24 hours passed, I put on my hiking boots and started the climb back up that plateau. I talked to a few of the people who love me unconditionally. First I cried to Mike but the poor guy can only take so much. When I felt that he needed a break from listening to my whining (because that’s what it was) I just called my family and spilled my heart to whoever picked up the phone first. By now they know what I need and they just listened to all the reasons my life was “terrible.”

CarWash

Then I spent the day slowly setting up activities for the weekend. First, to perk my mood, I drove my car through a car wash. Who doesn’t love to turn up the music and watch the water swirl around?? Then, that night, I had dinner with some bike girls in the area and got closer with one really cool chick. On Saturday Mike and I went on a lovely afternoon date and that night we went line dancing! (< more on this stuff later) On Sunday I went for Indian buffet with a few new friends from work. I was the only one who could pull myself out of the funk and, for me, I knew I just needed to be around other people.

So here I arrive at Monday, completely exhausted but in a MUCH better mood. I’m cresting the happy plateau today and hopefully I’ll be able to stay up here for a few weeks. Whatever the case I know I can’t possibly understand happy without a little sad 🙂

 

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No Workout Wednesday: Holiday Blues Anyone?

Our flight got canceled yesterday. I was so excited that the next flight was the next morning so I could spend a bit more time with my family. Then Mike realized he had an early morning meeting so we had to take a MUCH longer route and got in around 1am. I’m tired. Really tired. The house is clean (thank goodness for my foresight there), but I have to unpack, grocery shop, take down Christmas decorations, and pay the bills that have accumulated in the last 10 days. I went from blissful exhaustion being with my family to desperate exhaustion being here, on my own, with PILES of work.

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But this happens every time I go on vacation. Does it happen to you? My parents have the perfect name for it: Holiday Blues. Mike and I even planned for our holiday blues and thought we would have a nice, healthy, breakfast together before he left for work. NOT. We both scrambled out of bed and out the door with barely enough time to say hello to each other.

So how do you do it? How do you combat the Holiday Blues? I think I’m going to ease my way back into life. Do only the imperative things today: get a great night’s sleep, start the healthy eating, get adjusted (by my boss/chiropractor), and unpack. Tomorrow I will restart working out and paying bills. Oh goodness doesn’t that sound fun?

But at the end of it all, when I sit down to think about it, holy bajolies I’m such a lucky chick. I just got 10 days with my family and friends. And there were people who weren’t there that I missed terribly! How wonderful it is to have so many loved ones that they can’t possibly all gather in one place at one time? Anyway, as exhausted as I am, I’m only really excited at the possibilities for this year. I hope it’s just as good as the last one 🙂