I’ve been writing this blog now for over a year. It’s been about my journey through online dating and relationships in the latter part of my fifties.
I’ve chronicled my dating adventures covering the humorous to the painful and what I’ve hopefully learned along the way. It truly has been one of the most profound and ultimately beneficial experiences of my life. I had come to realize, about four years ago–rather to my surprise–that having a deep and meaningful and HEALTHY relationship was one of the things I really wanted most. I wanted to finally get it right and experience having someone solidly in my corner, loving, affectionate, responsible, funny and knowable (or as knowable as one human can be to another.)
I had spent a good part of my life getting relationships from close to right to really close to awful. I very often couldn’t figure out what I was doing that contributed to the awful or just not right parts and was determined to figure it out once and for all. I also had spent way too much time trying to figure out why HE did what he did, why HE thought what he thought and how I could magically make it all better. I apparently was under the false impression I had superpower abilities and could change another’s thoughts and behavior.
I had learned from a very early age that somehow I had been given the responsibility of making everyone in the universe happier and healthier–I guess the Caped Crusader role came with my family’s territory. I think this is not an uncommon role for children to be given–so early that we don’t even see it as anything but integral to who we are and how we are to be in the world. It can take a lifetime to realize that the ability to make someone happy for the rest of their life is MISSION IMPOSSIBLE and we’ll always be doomed to failure. If they haven’t discovered a way to find contentment, peace and SOME happiness on a regular basis by the time they hit their fifties–trust me–you aren’t going to miraculously change that scenario.
I don’t mean that all of us will be in a state of bliss all the time. We often are in challenging situations, upsetting circumstances and just generally dealing with all that life can throw at us. But in the midst of all of this, working towards balance, loving acceptance of your own and another’s human weaknesses AND feeling gratitude for what is good in your life is hugely important. More studies are being done all the time to try to quantify what makes people happy: is it money–and how much money–health, family, friends, job, parenthood–what does it take for us to feel pretty good about ourselves and our life?
Turns out our relationships with others; lovers, family, friends and even co-workers play a huge role, feeling a part of a larger community and feeling like we are contributing in some meaningful way, factor in as well.
One of the other findings is that people over 60 generally rate themselves happier than people under 60—apparently many of us have learned to lighten up and go easier on ourselves and others–which are yet more ways people find peace and occasionally happiness. Feeling LUCKY ENOUGH: gratitude for WHAT WE HAVE, not what we don’t have is BIG.
My next (and possibly last) post will be about how I found what I was looking for–and how it just keeps getting better and better…