What if there is no
‘happy ever after’?
I am a glass half full kind of girl whereas my hubby is often (but getting better) a glass half empty. Since I was a little girl, I have always believed in a ‘happy ever after’ type of scenario, and I don’t mean in the love stakes. I was taught that you can achieve anything if you put your mind to it.
After spending years within my own struggles, I worked hard to fight my way out and become the strong woman I am today. My mental health is where I find my happiness. Is everyone trying to achieve a happy ever after and what happens if you feel you haven’t achieved it?
But is that really true?
- Not everyone is going to achieve their ‘ideal’ job in this world – even if they try really hard.
- Not everyone is going to find that one special person to spend the rest of their life with, no matter how hard they search.
- Not everyone is going to experience the joys (and heartache) of being a parent– if that is on their wish list.
- Not everyone is going to be financially comfortable– no longer having the daily struggle with money.
- Not everyone is going to live a long, healthy life and peacefully pass away in their sleep.
So this idea of ‘happy ever after’ that we all strive to achieve, is it really achievable at all? The journey of life will continue on whether we have reached the state of ultimate happiness or not.
I look at my own life with four children, and sometimes I put the focus on my happiness while other times the focus is on their happiness. If I look at my life as it stands and honestly answer the 5 points above, this is my result:
- Ideal job– to help people understand themselves on a deeper level so they don’t struggle with the gift of life and to support teenage health and wellbeing – (achieved – IN PROGRESS)
- Special person– I’ve been happily (well most of the time) married over 20 yrs and so far looking strong – (achieved – YES)
- Children– I am lucky to have 4 beautiful (most of the time) children – (achieved – YES)
- Financial– We do alright but with four teens in the house and running my own business, many weeks are a struggle – (achieved – NO)
- Long life– Well I am only 45 yrs old, so far so good so this one is a work in progress – (achieved – IN PROGRESS)
I have 2 x YES and 1 x NO and 2 x IN PROGRESS. Am I meant to be happy half the time? Am I meant to see the glass half full? Does my happy ever after weigh heavily on the ‘IN PROGRESS’. Actually, I think my happiness does depend on the final notch of living a happy, healthy life.
Everything is life is ‘IN PROGRESS’.
Let’s look at what happens with most of us.
- ‘Ideal Job’– you start your work life doing menial things. After much hard work, your career can take you places and you might land or create the ideal job. But will you work in the job until the day you die? Probably not – just a stepping stone until your talents take you elsewhere or you are financially able to finish work altogether.
- ‘Special Person’– With the statistics today of 1 in 3 marriages failing, many people thought they found that special person, only to change their mind down the track. Many people search for the ‘perfect’ person but there is no perfect person – just perfect for what you can handle. Understanding and accepting someone else unconditionally is easier said than done. It’s a constant work in progress.
- ‘Children’– If your dream is to have children and you are lucky enough to have them, congratulations. However, the birth is the easy part, you are now entwined in their life forever, constantly changing and always in progress until to reach the next stage. Children can make you happy, but thinking by having children is a ticket to happiness will only ever cause more pain. Parenting is always a work in progress.
- ‘Financial’– for 95% of the population, this is constantly in progress until you are one of the lucky 5% who is wealthy enough for money to mean nothing. Money doesn’t make you happy, it just makes things a little easier. I now understand that my happy ever after is not about someone or something else giving it to me, it is always about the way I see life. Happiness is at my disposal whenever I want it – it’s what I make everything in life mean.
“Diversity is not just whats on the outside – it’s what is on the inside” We can all strive for what society says should make us happy – but in reality – happiness comes purely from within. I am not saying we can work hard and want more or desire change but when your thoughts about what you have (or have not) no longer control your happiness – you will actually find it waiting for you.
So maybe you can determine for yourself whether there actually is a happy ever after or whether your happy ever after in always in progress.
Do you believe in happy ever after?