I don’t fancy yours much..

Quite a while ago, I wrote a blog about being happy with my lot. The sentiment still stands, but I can’t help but have a little wobble off my high horse every now and then.

It often happens when someone questions me. The question could be anything, and my answer is often so mundane compared to theirs. The question asker could be a lifelong friend, or merely a regular customer in the shop.

What are you up to?
Are you going on holiday this year?
Why don’t you live together yet?

I still live in the town where I was born and I’ve had the same job for 8 years.

No, I’m not going on holiday this year, I can’t really afford it.

We just don’t.

Not always, but occasionally, I get looked at with sympathy.

Don’t. Please don’t.

You may not fancy my answers much for yourself, but I don’t need pity.

Because…..

There’s one very important question you haven’t asked me.

Are you happy?

Go on, give it a try. Ask me. And then, ask yourself the same question, with your part time/flexible hours job, your third holiday of the year booked, and the all consuming relationship you have which leaves you little time to do what you like (of course I generalise for the sake of this post, but I hope you get what I mean).

My answer would be a resounding YES.

Now I’m not saying that “you” aren’t happy. I’m sure you are, but it baffles me that you think I deserve a sympathetic look if I don’t  have the same as you. Work five days a week, with no holiday to look forward to, no partner to go home to? My life may be different to yours, but can’t we both be happy?

Trust me, even without those things, I am, and I can be, happy.

So, the first question.

What are you up to?

I tend to keep a job unless I’m pushed, i.e. made redundant. I’m not a huge fan of change. I get wound up and nervous about starting all over again. I’m not the kind of person who gets curious about whether the grass is any greener on the other side. Could I go get a similar job with more money and less hours? Absolutely no doubt about it. Do I want to? Not particularly. With High Street shops closing left, right and centre, if there is such a position out there, I’m not sure anyone would leave it unless they feared for the future of the company. There’s no better indication at the moment about the security of a company than how quickly it’s turning over staff and how many people who have had long standing positions there are jumping ship. In most jobs, you are just a number. Job satisfaction for me, especially at my age, is more about my immediate circle. My little team are a great bunch of people. Not just colleagues, but friends. I’ve never been materialistic, never will be. Much to my exes dismay. He mistook my stubbornness to change jobs or seek a higher wage, as me having no motivation. Nope. Not at all. I value mental health and well-being over a new laptop, better phone, etc. I don’t want to change. I’m happy, and at the moment at least, stable where I am. Would a different job change things for me and potentially my partner? Possibly, but there’s my point. Nothing NEEDS to change. I’m not moaning.

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Which leads me onto the next question, which, when I answer , seems to elicit a response of “Awww , that’s a shame”.

Are you going on holiday this year?

Nope.
Number one reason is cost. Secondly, remember I was left with two dogs when “he” left me. Putting them in kennels would cost a lot on top of the holiday, and that extra cost would stress me out so much I wouldn’t even enjoy the bloody holiday. Thirdly, work schedules for my other half and I are hit and miss. Despite me giving him my booked weeks, there’s no guarantee he’ll get the same. HOWEVER…… every single day off we get together throughout the year, we have lunch out, very often have day trips out and about. I’d put money on the fact that we do more as a couple out and about than the average married couple. Just the two of us. Neither of us stood cooking in the kitchen for the other. More often than not, we drive out into the middle of nowhere and end up eating somewhere we’ve never been before. There’s no routine. Nothing to get bored with. Nothing to argue about. Just new, different, fun. Give me that 52 weeks of the year over a week long holiday any day! Every single day we have together is different. Every single day is filled with so much laughter. My life isn’t a never ending routine of “normal” that leaves me with a burning desire to spend money I don’t really have on “getting away”. Each day off with my other half is a mystery until he turns up on my doorstep. My idea of excitement may not match yours, but do you know what? It doesn’t matter!!

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And last but not least…

Why don’t you live together yet?

Believe me, I get this more often than you’d think. It’s usually accompanied with a confused, quizzical look and ….”But you’ve been together 4 years?”… yeah, and?

I’m often tempted to answer “because I don’t want to”.  At the end of the day, you’re all assuming that’s what we want. This is the only one I’m not going to give you a full answer to. All I’m going to say is, it’s circumstances. I actually don’t need to explain ourselves on this one.
There are, of course, some obvious factors.

I have two female dogs, one particularly boisterous, he has an elderly, grumpy male dog. It wouldn’t work.

My financial status is crap. I don’t mind admitting that, because it wasn’t MY unreasonable spending that left me that way. It’s amazing how much baggage you unwillingly still have to carry just because someone once “put a ring on it”.

Have we talked about living together? Yes, of course. I’m 100% positive it will happen one day. In the future. When? Who knows? Does it matter? Let me refer you to the answer to the previous question.
Am I in a hurry to give up the lunches out and the random day trips to the zoo, the beach, the middle of blooming nowhere? Nope, not I! Getting to experience these things that I haven’t done since I was a child myself, or when my son was small, takes on a whole new level of appreciation when done with your soul mate.
Am I in a hurry to get into a routine of mundane, arguments about whose turn it is to cook, wash up, put washing on, pick washing up etc etc. Not quite yet. Been there, done that, cried the tears. Lost the plot.

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I’m a simple person with simple expectations.

At the moment, I have my health.

At the moment, I am happy.

Am I rich? Good God, no. Even if I was, the above two statements are not a guarantee.

Over the last year, on average, we have had one whole day a week together. 52 days that have each been different from the last, and different from the next. From fish and chips in a field, to a fancy restaurant in the country, we have eaten out more times in one year than I ever did during 15 years of marriage.

You can not begin to measure the value of spending time with someone who WANTS to spend their day with you, over someone who HAS to spend their time with you.

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My point is this. We can all be happy. Just because you don’t get how my life could possibly make me happy, it doesn’t mean I’m not. What I have and how I do things may not be for you, but it works for me. I’m a firm believer of “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”.

We all get our “happy” fix in different ways.

I wouldn’t change mine for the world.

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