Wednesday, July 18, 2007

How life unfolds

It occurred to me the other day that my blog represents or perhaps more than represents; it is documenting how my life is unfolding. My voice booms loud and clear here, even on the days it barely whispers in the real world. Here I am strong, opinionated and occasionally bright and insightful. I don't need to take two Advils here as often as in my real life, but isn't this a part of my real life? I think I need that Advil.

In my real life I do not talk much (hardly at all) about my feelings of grief or loss. Once I write about these feelings they float a little higher from my body, they hurt less. My writing and blog are a wonderful tonic for my less than joyous feelings.

So in addition to the many wonderful bloggers I have met through their blogs and wonderful stories, it has been so helpful to my own story. I have been able to write about feelings that had been bottled up for a long time. To talk about my quirks and beliefs in a place I know I am not judged.

I have done the Meme's and answered all the questions about what blogging means to me and how it all started and I guess what interests me more now is where is it going? How is this going to unfold, or keep unfolding? Am I going to tire of this (I doubt it) or am I going to not be able to think of things to write about?

I find folding laundry a very satisfying job, actually laundry in general is something I kind of enjoy. It is tactile, it is so predictable - starts off dirty and ends up clean. It is something I don't really mind doing. I usually save my laundry folding for evening and fold while watching some bad TV, I figure the productivity of one cancels out the brain numbing effect of the other. The unfolding of life is not nearly as satisfying though sometimes. You plan it all out and make it clean and then poof, someone dumps your nicely folded basket on the floor.

I just took the book out of the library, Stumbling on Happiness, and while I have barely cracked it open I am already thinking about it. Am I strange for thinking laundry can make me happy?

Below is a quote from the review by Malcolm Gladwell, the author of The Tipping Point and Blink.

Stumbling on Happiness is a book about a very simple but powerful idea. What distinguishes us as human beings from other animals is our ability to predict the future--or rather, our interest in predicting the future. We spend a great deal of our waking life imagining what it would be like to be this way or that way, or to do this or that, or taste or buy or experience some state or feeling or thing. We do that for good reasons: it is what allows us to shape our life. And it is by trying to exert some control over our futures that we attempt to be happy. But by any objective measure, we are really bad at that predictive function. We're terrible at knowing how we will feel a day or a month or year from now, and even worse at knowing what will and will not bring us that cherished happiness. Gilbert sets out to figure what that's so: why we are so terrible at something that would seem to be so extraordinarily important?

Clearly finding out not only what makes us happy but, why it makes us happy is important business. I must say my curiosity is peaked and I will probably read this book cover to cover. So far my life is unfolding in way that makes me happy. I have a loving, happy, and healthy family. We have a nice home, jobs, cars, security - all the things we seek out to create our happiness. The book opens with a line about what would you do if you had 10 minutes to live, would you do what you are doing right now? Duh, no I wouldn't, but rarely in life are you faced with such a scenario. You hear of people traveling to special places as their last wish or trying something new, or just spending time with family. Posting a blog entry I doubt it, but does that make the happiness I get from doing this any less valid?

I think things are unfolding just fine, but for good measure I will read the book anyway. You can never have too much happiness.


bubandpie said...

I enjoyed that book a lot - it's very much worth reading. But one thing I found a bit irritating is the element of exaggeration - the author bends over backwards to make his findings sound counter-intuitive. It's not really that we're terrible at predicting our future emotional states - it's more that we underestimate how really good we are at rationalizing and coping with misfortune.

Alpha DogMa said...

Come to my house. Laundry abounds. Waiting to be folded before the dog builds a nest in the middle. Evil dog.
Another book to add to my reading list.

Christine said...

never too much. ever.

and i know what you mean about laundry. One of my favorite things to do is hang wt laundry on the clothes line. . .

Mimi said...

This is kind of not the point but ..... You are the only other person I've ever seen with that awesome, giant nursing pillow. I loooooove mine. It's like a baby bed on your lap.

Ok. Happiness. The book suggests, does it not, that we have a far greater capacity for it--a far greater resiliency--than we imagine? I find that very hopeful.

And I knit while I watch TV, for the cancellation effects you mention ;-)

Joy, of course said...

I love folding laundry but I hate putting it away. It just takes a minute, to deposit it all where it needs to go, but still I hate it.

I think this book sounds really interesting and I would love to know what you think of it after you read it. If I had 10 minutes left to live, I would not be reading your blog, but I am still glad I did. :)

Sandra said...

Such a beautiful post.

And no, you can never have too much happiness.

freddie said...

reading your blog is like reading a novel while its character are actually taking shape... does it make sense?
ciao from Rome

Oh, The Joys said...

I read the foreward to that book while at my Granny's (she had checked it out of the library - or my mom had or something.)

I like blogging for the way it connects us to things we want to process or remember.