Today I read an article in the Globe and Mail about being uncomfortable with our happiness. You know that feeling you sometimes get when you buy yourself some extra special for a job well done or when you book yourself a trip to a place you’ve been dreaming of forever?
You’re pumped to be finally getting that DSLR you’ve been waiting for, or on that plane to Europe you’ve saved up for months to be on but then there’s this little nagging tick somewhere in your gut, almost making you wish you would have changed your mind.
Did I really need to spend a few hundred dollars on that gadget that will be outdated in mere months, and shouldn’t I have just spent my vacation time at home in the backyard? Who am I to be living this good life? What have I done to qualify for these privileges, you might hear yourself asking.
I recently felt this way about two big spending decisions. They were actually the first two major purchases I’ve made completely on my own (with the help of my Visa) since I’ve started by full-time job as a staff writer. I booked a 12-day trip to Spain and France with a girlfriend, and then a few weeks later I bought myself the Nikon DSLR I’ve been drooling over since January.
Maybe it is because I’m not used to having this much disposable income (you might remember I’ve spent the better half of the last year or so as an unpaid intern), or maybe it’s because I was feeling it was a bit too soon into my steady paying job to be blowing this kind of cash but the happiness anxiety, as Sarah Hampson put it, was there for the better part of a week each time I signed on the dotted line for these things.
Reading this article today brought those initial feelings back. On Friday I’ll be getting on that airplane with the expensive gadget in hand. As I get ready to go and finish up the week at work there’s no doubt those comments of “you’re so lucky!” “I wish I could go!” and “I’m so jealous!” will be repeated from friends, co-workers and family members.
Instead of having those thoughts of my unworthiness fill my head as I pack my suitcase, I’ve decided I am going to start my own happiness revolution too and “celebrate the meaningful and happy parts” of my trip and the rest of this summer and hopefully infect others with the same thoughts. Life is too short to be depriving ourselves of our dreams.
I hope you’ll do the same. Stay tuned for all the happy updates when I return later this month.