Deal or No Deal?

Real magic doesn’t come from achieving the perfect appearance, from being Cinderella at the ball with both glass slippers and a killer hairstyle. The real magic is in the pumpkin, in the mice, in the moonlight; not beyond ordinary life, but within it.
— from Expecting Adam, by Martha Beck

Do you think that if you get to be truly happy, you have to pay some kind of karmic price for it? I can remember thinking that if J ever came back to me (this, of course, was back when I was sure we were destined to be together) and we got married and had a family and I had everything (I thought) I always wanted, I would have to lose something else I loved, just to keep the cosmic balance sheet in check – like you only get to be so happy without it costing you something. I don’t know if that’s making any sense, but that’s what I thought.

I’ve been thinking about this lately because, over the past month or so, I’ve been the happiest for the longest period of time I can consciously remember being in a very long time. Usually, I have periods of happiness regularly punctuated by bouts of sadness, but lately I’ve just been happy, plain and simple. I mean, last Tuesday I cried a little, just because of the day, and the Braves made me sad Wednesday night, and there have been frustrations here and there, but nothing major has happened to knock me into a funk. I don’t know if it’s the weather, or that it’s baseball season (I pinpoint the beginning of this period of happiness to Opening Day), or the headway I’m making on Couch to 5k and the resulting health benefits, or that I’m making an effort to be more positive (because I am), but I just feel good practically all the time: the sky seems bluer, my cat seems sweeter, my job seems less stressful, things just seem to be working themselves out.

And that worries me. I was thinking today – while I was out on a long walk through a park near my house that I’d been to once before, but not on such a beautiful day when there were sunbathers, and people playing catch, and dogs running around, and kids playing baseball – that as happy as I feel, there’s an undercurrent of waiting for something to happen, and I couldn’t figure out what it is. Then I realized: I’m waiting for the other shoe to drop. On some level, I’m expecting that, in exchange for the happiness I have right now, I’m going to have to trade something I might not want to part with. It’s kind of the way I felt after I lost my hearing – things were going well, I was really starting to be happy with myself and my life again after a long period of being miserable, and then, BAM.  And I just can’t shake the feeling that it’s coming around again.

That’s silly, right?  I mean, it’s probably just being nervous, because I’ve been thinking that I’m starting to feel good enough to start doing things and going to places where I’ll have to interact with strangers in order to meet new people, and maybe even find someone I like enough to ask out.  I’m comfortable here now, and I know that to get to the next place I want to go in life, I have to take matters into my own hands, and I’ve been thinking about ways to do that, and so I’m probably just anxious about that.  I hope that’s all it is; I like being happy, I like smiling my way through the day and looking on the bright side, and I don’t want to waste time looking over my shoulder worrying about what bad thing might be about to befall me.

I could use some reassurance, if you’ve got any.

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5 thoughts on “Deal or No Deal?

  1. I don’t know if this helps, but I remember the same way when I started dating J, that it was going too well and it couldn’t possibly last. But it has, with some bumps along the road of course, but nothing horrible or crazy. So, who knows? Maybe it will be 10 years before the other soe drops — enjoy it while it lasts!

  2. Ooh, I do that too – the feeling of “Things are going to well, I’m going to get hit by a bus” (I vaguely remember Julia Roberts saying that – what movie was that in??) – but I tend to be mopier lately, so I’m glad you’ve got the happy going. I’m trying to reassure MYSELF that my mope is nothing more than my lameass thyroid and that soon the meds are going to kick in and I’m gonna be my old self again. Wouldn’t that be awesome? I hate the way I’m feeling, so I’m very envious of your happiness…

  3. I don’t think you can spend too much time waiting for the other shoe(s) to drop. It’s a waste of valuable happy time to do that. Though honestly I think we all do it, the worrying part, as if we don’t think we deserve to be happy or something.

  4. Well you know I don’t believe in Karma, so enjoy the happy times! Enjoy what you have been given. I don’t think you have to give up something in one area of life to be happy in another.

    Here’s one of my favorites, “It has been said that anxiety does not empty tomorrow of it’s sorrow, but only empties today of it’s strength.” Charles Spurgeon

  5. I think things balance out, but not neccesarily evenly. Your large amount of happiness right now may only result in small bouts of sadness down the road….like the fact that the Braves got you down, that was only a small bit of sadness. Hopefully, the balance will stay that way. And we all have most of the control when it comes to our happiness. Things can happen TO us but we have control over how it affects our overall attitude. So when the other shoe does drop all you need to do is believe that you can control the way it makes you feel and make something good come out of it.

    I’ll get off my soapbox now, love you! Stay happy!!! 🙂

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