Long time no blog. I don’t know if anyone still reads this. However, looking over my previous posts, I find myself wondering, “Do I really whinge that much?”
I’ve never been what I would call a ‘happy’ person and this is both due to external and internal forces. Externally, enjoyment and happiness weren’t a big part of my childhood growing up with the pressures of culture, religion and academic excellence. Sometimes I wonder if it’s in my blood. Throughout history, Chinese women haven’t had a lot of agency or control over their lives, so they turn to nagging as their only avenue to get what they want because everything else is taboo. A daughter learns this from her mother, it gets passed on from generation to generation. My grandmother is a great complainer. So is my mother. And so am I. If something isn’t exactly as we want it, we lose the plot and we talk about it incessantly with such melancholic tones and sighs that we cause other people to lose the plot. Usually, that means children and husbands.
But I don’t want to be that person. I don’t want to nag. If I do become a parent, I don’t want to be the mom who nags, nags, nags about the most minuscule and trivial of things, such as not putting the dishes away in the right place, using too many bowls, having one crumb on the bench top overnight etc. Complaining, however, is like breathing or drooling in my sleep; it’s something I fall into naturally and it’s so normal in my life that I’m afraid I won’t be able to catch myself falling into the habit.
How do you learn to be happy? Perhaps ‘happy’ is the wrong word. Perhaps ‘content’ is more of what I am after and more achievable; being in a place where I’m not always miserable, not always wanting something else because my current situation is not bearable. Content in myself, my life.
I’m going to try and focus on the little things that make me feel good, like the wind on my face, the clear sunlight and blue sky on a winter morning when I drive to work, rain on a tin roof, the smell of incense, candles at night, a warm bowl of soup to put my cold hands around, a good story, a soft blanket, laughter with colleagues, a conversation that goes beyond the smalltalk, a job well done, pants that don’t squeeze in all the wrong places, soft fluffy socks, relaxing yoga poses, a beautifully crafted sentence, a smooth pen on creamy paper, the smell of my favourite shampoo. In short, I’m going to try a little Hygge.
Because I have got to make some changes in my life. I can’t continue that spiral of negativity, not when I have depression and not when it makes me so despondent and so crazy. It doesn’t mean I have to stop being angry about the injustices of the world. A part of me will always regret what could have been if I had been born to a liberal westernized family that doesn’t treat bad science as gospel or think breaking a child is as good as raising a child. But maybe I can start accepting it and moving on and away from it all.