To a certain extent, all of us suffer from the idyllic ‘someday’ effect. Some more than others. We attach a mystical level of happiness to some future goal. We think that if we reach that goal, we’ll be happy.
“If I lose 10 kilo’s, I’ll be happy.”
“The day I buy that car, I’ll be happy.”
“I can’t wait to start my own business, because then I’ll have all the freedom I could want, and I’ll be happy.”
“When I get married, I’ll be happy.”
“I can’t wait for the kids to leave the house. I’ll be happy when that day comes.”
I’ve said many of these things, and I hear people make similar statements all the time. Judah Smith calls it ‘sexy someday’. Society has popularised being anywhere but here. Always searching, always grinding, never at peace. I saw this on Twitter: “I wish I could just move away from everything and everyone.” The problem with that is that wherever you go, there you are (said by someone clever sometime in the past). You take yourself wherever you go. Your inner workings form the basis of your thinking and all your interactions with people.
Many years ago, a friend told me that I am the common denominator in all my failed relationships. He was right, of course. I kept choosing the wrong people and allowing them to treat me like dirt. I did that because my picker was broken. So broken, that I couldn’t recognise it for what it was – a lack of boundaries on my part. It took many years of self-reflection before I came to this realisation. Whenever I met someone new, I brought my broken self into the equation and it was a recipe for disaster. Wherever I went, there I was. I couldn’t run from my brokenness. Every time I met someone, I thought that things would be different. Things only changed when I changed.
That idyllic ‘someday’ effect is a form of running away. Running because we fear our current situation. Or running because we’ve been sold the lie that there’s something better around the next corner. Or running because we can’t face what’s happening inside of us.
In order to lose those 10 kilo’s, you may have to restrict your eating and increase your training to such a point that you’re downright miserable.
The day you buy the car, is the day you have to start paying for the car.
Having your own business does bring a certain amount of freedom, but it also brings a lot of new challenges that employed folks don’t ever have to deal with.
Marriage may bring you happiness, but being married is harder than people think, especially people who have never been married.
When your kids leave the house, it might be clean for the first time in 18 years, but you may have to go through a period of grieving to be able to move on and fashion a new life without having them around every day.
Contentment is highly underrated. We want, we chase, we covet. There is nothing wrong with wanting to grow and better yourself, but have we become so obsessed with wanting what we don’t have that we are blind to what we do have? I’m going to make a point of counting my blessings. I need to remind myself that I have a lot to be thankful for. Perhaps, the more we recognise the blessings, the less we will feel the need.
Until next time,