Monday, 9 April 2012

Hopes and regrets

As I've stated before, I've decided 2012 is my year to focus on the concept of happiness.  And thinking about this has also led me to ruminate about regret.

My hubby's cousin linked to an interesting article in her blog today about the regrets of the dying (she worked in palliative care).  I've read quite a few blogs recently discussing the same kinds of topics so I've been thinking about what I'm happy with in my life and what I'd like to change.

And that's part of the reason I'm quite excited to be moving.  Some of the changes we're aiming for in our new, small town definitely fit on my "makes me happy" list.  Growing food, keeping animals, lots of space for the Little Big Fella to run around in (and probably break bones and do all that particularly-boyish stuff).  I like this!  I'm looking forward to the possibility of going back to work and renewing and developing my skills.  And I hope that the small community will be an environment of mutual support (as well as the likely gossip and sticky beaking, which won't be as good).  Everything I've heard so far suggests that it's quite possible this will be the case.

On the negative side, I know I'm terrible at long-distance friendships.  I don't write or call, and if you're not on Facebook, I'm probably going to be fairly absent from your life.  And, although this is partially a pragmatic response to my previous experiences, it's not something I'm particularly happy about.  I've had some wonderful friends in places I've lived before, and I've "lost" them along the way, which makes me very sad.  Friends are such an important element of the substance of a happy life, and losing them through neglect is rather shite.  Can I improve with this move?  I wonder.  And I hope.

And, to be honest, I haven't been very good at making friends here.  I think I've been too shy and too backward in encouraging friendships.  I don't know that I've invited anyone over for dinner (other than family, and even then it was probably the Big Fella who actually did the inviting) in the 6 years we've lived here.  And I've rarely engaged people outside of work/mum's group/swimming.  And I've suffered because of it.  I haven't had made the opportunity to develop deeper, more meaningful relationships with people that I've clicked with, so have felt lonely when I might not otherwise have.

I'm fairly certain there'll be a few nods around the place on this one too - I'm too nice.  Sometimes I need to say what I really think, not shut up or phrase it in such a nice way that the real meaning (and feeling) is buried.  Because I'm not being true to myself, and I'm not giving others the chance to really know who I am.  I don't want to become rude, or obnoxious, or trample all over people, but I do want to define me and my space more clearly so that I don't get trampled (by accident, or on purpose).

I wonder if this year and this move will see me grow much, or if I'll be too afraid and just keep going the same way.  Will I really be happier by the end of 2012?

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