Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Happiness and Commitment

In "Geography of Bliss," author Eric Weiner writes about a woman who refers to where she lives as home "for now."

He writes, "And that, I realize, is the problem with hedonic floaters like Cynthia and with many of us Americans and our perpetual pursuit of happiness. We may be fairly happy now, but there's always tomorrow and the prospect of a happier place, a happier life. So all options are left on the table. We never fully commit. That is, I think, a dangerous thing. We can't love a place, or a person, if we always have one foot out the door."

My friend, Sondra, once said about me with regard to a relationship I was in, "Girl, you always have your bags packed." I think that's another way of saying, "one foot out the door."

What neither of these statements addresses is that sometimes we don't know any other way. We are on a search for happiness - where we live, travel and work; who we friend, live near and love; and what we do, think, and seek. That search spills into every area of our lives. Good, bad or indifferent, it's just the way it is.

Commitment. Happiness. They seem intertwined, but we all know commitment doesn't equal happiness. People make public commitments every day, but the divorce rate is high.

Sometimes commitments are unspoken, but understood nonetheless. I'm mulling over commitment these days. Commitments made by me and to me. Much to think about.


Judith said...

On November 9 you wrote: "I can honestly say I've never ended any relationship of friends, lovers or others without making intense efforts to maintain it." That sounds like commitment to me.

Where your other friend got the "bags packed" analogy is beyond me. Unless she was seeing your willingness to form new friendships. You seem always to be open to new things, new people, new places.

That's not lack of commitment, it's generosity. You give of yourself and are always ready to do more.

Forming new friendships doesn't mean abandoning the old ones, it just enriches them.

You, my new friend, are part of my wealth.

Patsy Terrell said...

You're very kind, Judith... thank you. I am always open to new friends. Definitely.

I'm always thinking over something... and I continually realize I'm a puzzle of contradictions. Even to myself. :)

Barbara said...

This is a fantastic blog. I hope you won't mind if I post a link in my blog. This describes my actions to a T!! Everyone has said I'm looking for happiness... I'm just looking for better! Great blog...really enjoyed it!

Patsy Terrell said...

Thanks, Barbara. I'm always flattered when anyone posts a link to something I've written. Glad you enjoyed it!