Wednesday, 2 November 2016

Happy as I am

I seldom imagine someone else's life to be better than my own. I'm happy with my life, with all its ups and downs, and I know the seemingly fabulous lives I read about often hide miseries and tragedies I wouldn't want to be burdened with.

In fact it's now routine for celebs to reel off the horrible experiences they've had to deal with, as if to say, don't bother to envy me, I'm no better off than you are - except that I have fame and money. Which is a bit of a cushion, granted, but it's no protection against grief, depression, domestic violence or those everyday problems we all run into.

In fact fame and money often make life harder. Divorces are horrendous, as each spouse tries to claim the maximum share of the marital assets. You can never be quite sure if someone is a genuine friend or a gold-digger. You're forever in the spotlight and being mercilessly criticised and picked to bits.

But even people with more ordinary lives don't make me want to swop. However happy and fulfilled they might seem on the outside, who knows what emotional and mental baggage they're carrying around? Who knows what they're carefully concealing? Better the devil you know than the devil you don't.

The truth is I'm thoroughly familiar with all my personal quirks and oddities and I've learnt how to deal with them. I know how to exploit my strengths and minimise my weaknesses. If I suddenly fell into someone else's life, I'd have to get acquainted with a brand new personality. I'd be floundering around like a dog on an ice rink.

It would be fun to swop with someone for a week, say. Just to see if their life really is better than mine. I suspect I'd soon be tearing my hair out.

30 comments:

Dave Martin said...

As Christian Slater said in 'Heathers' - "Everyone's life has static".
I agree it would be interesting to have a taste of the lives of others, but I'm too used to my own life to want to step into someone else's shoes permanently.

Bijoux said...

I suspect if I were rich and famous, my life wouldn't be that much different, besides the surroundings. I'd still be me, with the same attitude and likes and dislikes.

Nick said...

Dave: Indeed, we all have static. And the static in someone else's life may be totally deafening.

Bijoux: Exactly. And you might be presented with problems your existing personality can't cope with.

helen devries said...

There doesn't have to be a lot of money at stake for people to become vicious: my husband's close family is a case in point.

Nick said...

Helen: You're probably right there. From what I gather, it's very common for wills to be disputed. There's invariably some family member who thinks they've been cheated out of their rightful inheritance.

tammy j said...

being a happy cosy minimalist I can honestly say I don't envy anyone their position or money in life.
about the only thing I DO envy is the climate in which some people live.
my own has changed so that I don't recognize it. we broke a 100 year old record here yesterday. 84 degrees. might as well be the height of summer. no rain for months now. only THAT would I trade with you or anyone else who didn't have such a harsh desert environment! :)
it is just not for me. my health suffers because of it. and moving is not an option. so. it just is what it is.
but to envy someone else's LIFE? nope. never would want to try theirs on!
just send some of your rain our way!
please!!!

Nick said...

Tammy: I've had a word with the Rain Fairy and she'll be sending you some rain straightaway! I wouldn't like to be coping with those temperatures on a regular basis. The temperate climate in Northern Ireland suits me just fine. Not too cold, not too hot.

Perhaps you'd like to be someone living in a temperate climate? How about Tasmania?

Joanne Noragon said...

I cannot imagine any one's life being better than mine. It's what you make it.

CheerfulMonk said...

I have no desire to trade places with anyone. And I've never had the desire to be younger than I am. I would have to give up too much. :)

tammy j said...

your rain fairy is TRYING to work dear nick!
it's lightning all around us tonight!
but nary a drop of moisture. and still I live in hope! thank you!!!

Nick said...

Joanne: Life is indeed what you make it. I've tried to make the most of what was given to me, both in outside opportunities and inner abilities. I don't waste time regretting all the things that aren't possible.

Jean: I've never wanted to be young again either. I did all sorts of stupid things when I was young, out of naivety and ignorance and recklessness.

Nick said...

Tammy: The Rain Fairy is teasing you. I shall tell her to stop fooling around and get on with the job.

Anonymous said...

I don't know , if I really understand the purpose of your post.May be I 'm still too young to deal with those questions. Why should I want to change my life with richer or famous people...? I was raised between Namibian bushmen so money and fame mean not much to me. We love to share and happiness is a state of mind.
Mia

Nick said...

Mia: I can see how the idea of swopping lives wouldn't mean much to you, given your upbringing with a very different set of values. But a surprising number of British people yearn to be rich and famous rather than talented or skilled. Personally, I'd hate to be famous, for the reasons I gave in the post. I've no wish to be wealthy, but I do want enough money to live a comfortable life. Always having too little money must be absolutely soul-destroying.

Anonymous said...

I agree à 100 %. Enough money is necessary to our daily life.But I learnt very early that human contacts, the feeling to be protected and loved is so important to our mental and physical development and give us strenght for our whole life. My husband lost his parents in a car accident when he was 8 and was educated by a very rich uncle but was not happy at all.
Mia

Nick said...

Mia: Absolutely, close and loving relationships with other people are the most important thing in life. Without those, you can be as rich as you like but you'll be miserable. I'm sorry to hear about your husband's unhappy childhood. I also had an unhappy childhood, as my parents sent me away to boarding school at 13 and I was bullied most of the time I was there.

Hattie said...

I enjoy your odd thoughts! I'm pretty eccentric myself!

Nick said...

Hattie: Eccentric is probably an under-statement. Whatever the popular opinion, I've generally got a different one. And one so unusual that nobody understands it. Sometimes I think mindless conformity would be the better option.

Rummuser said...

No, I would not like to swap for even one week. I am content with my life as it is.

Nick said...

Ramana: Me too. As I said, I'm familiar with all my little quirks and oddities. I wouldn't like to suddenly be landed with someone else's.

kylie said...

what is this "swop"?
have I been getting it wrong for my whole life?

i think there are people with better lives than mine so i guess, in theory, i may be persuaded to trade places but generally i prefer the devil i know

Nick said...

Kylie: Indeed, the devil you know. My feeling also. I know how to handle the murky nooks and crannies of my personality. I'd be flummoxed by someone else's.

Maria said...

Nick, my mum has always used this quote with us children when we were growing up:
“If we put our problems in a big heap so that everybody can see each other's; we would take ours back again"
Greetings Maria x

Nick said...

Maria: Yes. I've heard that one before. It's a very good quote. And I'm sure people would do exactly that - take their own problems back again!

Wisewebwoman said...

I can't imagine who else I'd want to be, loaded financially or not and I'm far from living in any kind of ease from financial pressure.

I guess I value friendship and helping others more than anything else. Plus my extremely creative core. Even my over-sensitivity.

XO
WWW

Nick said...

www: Yes, it's always seemed to me that you're happy in your own skin, despite all the difficulties, and that you have no wish to change places with anyone.

Secret Agent Woman said...

I wouldn't swap lives with anyone, either. Not that I'd turn away a windfall, but if I came into that sort of money I'd be giving most of it to help others anyway. For the most part, I think I have a pretty good life - a career I like, a happy home, kids I think the world of, and the ability to have fun almost anywhere I go. I wouldn't risk handing that over.

Nick said...

Agent: You do seem to have a very good life. I can't imagine you wanting to swop it with anyone else's. Especially now you've found a very compatible mate after a long search!

Jenny Woolf said...

Me too. Although I sometimes feel I would like the chance to swop with a carefree optimist occasionally!

Nick said...

Jenny: Me too. I'm a long way from being a carefree optimist. Unlike (my own) Jenny, who's pretty buoyant and optimistic about most things.