am I happy yet?

As I mentioned in a prior post, my sister-in-law asks pointed questions that stay with me for a while. During one of their visits a couple of years ago, she asked me whether I was happy with my life. I responded with a tepid “yes”. This lukewarm response was less to do with an overall assessment of life than with a sense that the past couple of years have been challenging. I haven’t achieved what I hoped I would in my professional life or all that I could have achieved. But in reality, I’m not sure that I would change anything because I have enjoyed the journey.

As a never-married woman who has no children, I think some people assume that I must be unhappy and frustrated – I’m not. Or that I must be terribly self-centered – I don’t think I am. Or that I must be pining for love – I’m not. Or that I must be afraid of having no one to care for me in my old age – well, maybe a little. I’m sure many people would find it all very sad or assume that I’m deluding myself about the need for a relationship, but the reality is that I’m very happy with how things have turned out for me. 

Overall, I feel like I am living the life I was meant to live. Some little girls dream of meeting prince charming, having a big wedding and becoming a mother. Even as child, I really didn’t envision getting married or having children – it wasn’t the dream I had for myself. I’ve never been particularly focused on relationships or dating. Many of the activities that I most enjoy are fairly solitary in nature – I’m very much an introvert.

I have everything I need and most things I want – though I would love a magic wand that would quickly finish off my renovations … for no additional cost! I think I could have achieved more, but the jobs that inspired my greatest commitment were not sustainable. I’ve bounced around a bit professionally. I am happy with my job and my work contribution, which is great as many people are not happy with their current position.

Are there new things I would like to accomplish? Yes, I just have to figure out how to get there and make the decision to focus my attention and energy. This has always been the challenge for me. I find it hard to settle into one thing. I’m interested in many things and see connections between issues, so to me it feels like I’ve connected the dots but others see “bouncing around” and lack of continuity. 

As long as I am taking care of my mother, any course changes will be on hold because I don’t have the time or energy to take on something new just yet. The good news is that this gives me some “down time” to figure out what I want and how to get there. I have some ideas and hopefully will be able to take some baby steps over the coming year.

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