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The wonders of happiness! Look at all those happy people on commercials, skipping through a lovely meadow, flying kites, living life to the fullest. Maybe they will even have a BBQ with friends later, or laugh gayly as they play with dolphins. Who knows, those happy folk might even bake a cake of happiness and give it out to the homeless, because they’re so happy. Although it should be said a high sugar based diet is not recommended for the malnourished. That would just be irresponsible*.
I suppose, recently, I am amongst these merry men (and women). Depression is nowhere to be found and for the first time in a long time I’m like an Andy Dufresne* figure – I’ve escaped. Although unlike Andy, I have absolutely no idea what to do with my freedom. I see the adverts of people running down beaches and paragliding but so far all I’ve managed to do is improve my form on FIFA 12 and, for some reason, agree to strip, sand and varnish the original parquet floor in the kitchen.
If I had any suspicions as to whether I was in mania or not, that just put it to bed. When people are manic they go on shopping sprees and enter Ironman triathlons, they don’t typically want to do 40 hours of manual labour for virtually zero recompense. So via a process of simple deduction it must be happiness. It can therefore be officially confirmed; happiness has been found.
One thing I haven’t found out though, is where I sign up for my nice shiny white teeth, my lovely beach, a labrador and the perfect physique. It’s almost as if these happy images that surround us all day every day are actually not representative of the facts.
You see this is where my major point of contention with happiness comes in. Happiness is not a thing it is a feeling. Happiness doesn’t look like anything, it doesn’t cost a certain amount of money and it doesn’t come with a big red bow on it. My happiness just looks like me, the same me who looked like me when I was depressed. These pictures, images and projected aspirations externalise a feeling into the physical world. They do this because they can’t sell a feeling, but they can sell you physical things like a nice new kite*, or a new gym membership or a new sofa.
So what do you do when you’re not depressed Paul? Well I basically do similar things as before, except I am happy about them. Unless the thing is stripping a parquet floor.
*Ideally you want to give out foods that high in nutrients and vitamins.
*Main character in the film Shawshank Redemption
*Can’t say I’ve been kite shopping a while though.