Does this ever happen to you; You’re working on a project, whether it is raking the leaves, mowing the lawn or doing laundry, and you get to a certain point and think… “Well, that’s good enough”? Sure you could pick up a few of the leaves that you missed or get out the edge trimmer and make it perfect, but… you don’t.
You think to yourself, that’s good enough, it doesn’t have to be perfect, I can live with it.
I realize those are small things in the big picture, leaves and lawns, but I have noticed that sometimes we are willing to settle with love as well.
For example, perhaps you have been in and out of several long term relationships. Perhaps maybe even one was a marriage or you had moved into together. “Living in sin” is what my parents would call it. My parents view on living together changed as child number 4 and then 5 and 6 grew up. I always thought living together was a good idea, but that is another conversation. You don’t buy a pair of pants without trying them on. <tangent>
Ok, that is maybe simplified but, but what I think happens as we get older is that we have more of a sense that our time on this earth is limited so we feel societal pressure to fit into the puzzle.
By middle age most of our friends are in committed relationships raising families and planning their retirement. I know not all of our friends who are outwardly portraying the perfect domestic life are truly happy, but some of them are, damn it and for those of us who aren’t, it makes us want it.
We want Netflix and Chill, on repeat, Saturday morning soccer practices and holidays at the in-laws. Most of us, not all of us.
Those happy couples are not hoping to run into their soul mate at the grocery store or spending hours writing an on-line dating site profiles with pictures that we hope don’t make us look boring. They’re not contemplating ways to get out of a coffee shop first date.
Saint Raymond: Let it Go.
I found when I first came out of my divorce I spent far too much time being envious of my ‘couple happy friends’ and longing for what they had. I would curse all those romantic comedies that provided a fairy tale happy ending. Given enough time (and therapy thank you Dave Grohl), I realized that happiness is not the same for everyone. There is no one measurement or standard for happiness that we are going to be compared to.
I know you have heard this before; you can’t expect to find happiness until you are happy with yourself. Yes, someone can come into your life and change it. Fill it with light and warmth and those crazy sparks of sexual attraction that make you think with the wrong head or, er body part. But if you haven’t spent the time to truly figure out what makes you happy, that new found happiness will disappear. Once you have spent the time to truly find what makes you happy you can move forward with purpose and clarity, and you will attract like wise.
In my darkest period of recovery from love gone wrong, I was constantly going back through every relationship that I have had, thinking about how maybe I should have stayed in one of those. I should have settled. Maybe that old relationship wasn’t perfect, there were a few leaves I had missed and some long grass by the fence that I didn’t cut but maybe that was as good as it was going to get.
Do you want to know why I didn’t stay or how I knew it wasn’t as good as it could get? I simply asked myself one simple question.
Am I happy?
You are in control of your happiness, you alone. Happiness comes in many different shapes, sizes and colors. Find yours and stay true to them. Don’t settle. It is better to be alone and working on your own path to happy than to be with someone and settle for; well… that’s good enough. Trust the timing of your life.
words by Ross Hawse