Putting things on the back burner

Posted: Thursday, June 05, 2008

Happiness: A state of well-being and contentment; a pleasurable or satisfying experience.

Content: To appease the desires of.

I have a theory: When people are happy, they tend to ignore previously worrisome things like subtle weight gain, hairy legs, unmanaged eyebrows, and an entirely too dirty house.

I have not been able to find any scientific or medical research to prove this theory, so it's more of a random thought that has been thrown around with some of my friends. It is a matter of being content.

For example, say you and your partner both work a 40-hour week, sometimes more if you are like me and have a second part-time job. You come home after work completely exhausted. There's a pile of dishes in the sink, a mound of clothes in the corner of the bedroom, and you have no plans for dinner. Did I mention that most likely the sun is out, so you want to take full advantage of your much-needed sun time? So you pack the dog up into the truck, grab some dinner at a fast-food restaurant and head out to the beach. Yet another night passes and the dishes and the clothes are still dirty and you ate complete junk for dinner - and you don't care.

Then the weekend comes and you vow to one another that this Saturday will be different. You will not look with disdain at the mound of dirty dishes that have spilled onto the kitchen counter. You will attack and wash them. Since you have run out of clean socks and towels, you will definitely do laundry this weekend too. The refrigerator is just about empty - all that is left in there are Tater Tots and old soy milk - so you will most definitely hit the grocery store at some point too.

But then the weather clears again, or there is a band you just have to go hear, or you decide it will be date night, since the thought of being in a grocery store on a weekend day makes your skin crawl, and again nothing around the house gets done.

And the housework is not the only thing that is getting put on the back burner. One day you walk past the mirror or try to put on your favorite pair of jeans and something doesn't seem quite right. What in the world is going on here, you think. But when you put the pieces together it all begins to make sense. Right, we eat out a lot because we are both busy people. We go on dates on the weekend - more food. And when you are exhausted from your work week, why in the world would you work out when you can't even clean your house?

The thing is though, in spite of it all, you are happy. Sure the house is a mess and your body has seen better days, but those things seem insignificant when the two of you are making memories that will last a lifetime.

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