Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happines Quotient

I remember reading an article ones about people's "happiness quotient".

(all the good things in your life) - (all the bad things and worries in your life) = your happiness quotient (HQ)

Last year my HQ was in negative numbers. There was so little in my life to be happy about. This year the fear and worry does not make a dent in

(+1) A year ago now I had just come back from the cruise.

(-1) I had a husband with a huge cut on his head from falling on ice that my landlord would not deal with.

(-1) My landlord was threatening to evict us if we complained to the tenant protection committee.

(-1) I was living in a tiny, cluttered apartment with no room to turn around.

(-1) I had "started a business" that no one took seriously.

(-1) I was working out of my living room makeing the place even more cluttered and claustrophobic than it had been before.

(-1) We never knew how we were going to pay our bills. Our debt load was so high it was crushing our spirit. We had to think twice before buying a loaf of bread- never mind any non-luxuries.

(-1) My creativity had fled. I could not create, I could not write. I could barely speak

(-1) My daughter was in school with kids who could not come over to play because there parents were worried there was no real room for them. She was NEVER invited on playdates or to birthday parties. Even at the park we felt apart from other families.

(-1) I felt out of place at shul.

(-1)I had been pushed out of a forum that I had started, and was getting nasty emails from some of the "admin" and members on how terrible I was which sent me hurling back into a depression that almost landed me in hospital.

(+1) thank god for good drugs and a wonderful therapist.

(-1) I was dealing with being on the receiving end of an internet sale gone bad and arguing with paypal to get my money back. When I did I started getting hate mail from the "seller" and had my ebay and etsy accounts hacked to the tune of a few hundred dollars so she could "teach me a lesson".

(-1) I had just found out that one of my husbands rabbeim from yeshiva, a man I truly respected and liked, had emergency surgery to remove a brain tumor.

(-1) I had also just found out my grandfather, with whom I had not spoken in years, had pancreatic Cancer. I was at a total loss as to how to react. I jsut felt numb.

(-1) I was sick as a dog with a virus that was giving me a fever and making my joints ache.

(-1) I was in hiding from most of my family. Heck, I was hiding from most of my friends too.

(-1) I felt alone in the world and like I was not worthy for love attention or to leave the house. I was not being a good parent to Channah, a good wife to Jason, or a good person for myself.

(-1) My husband was miserable at work. He was stuck in a go-nowhere job being yelled at regularly over things not in hus control

2008 HQ = (-15)

Contrast that to a year later.

(+1) My relationships with my family are better than they have been in a long, long while.

(+1) I have had the closure I needed in my relationship with my grandfather. He is no longer here but before he passed away I was able to make peace with the relationship such as it was.

(+1) I am living my dream and living in a wonderfui apartment in Israel.

(+1) I have a space for a proper studio and business is growing nicely.

(+1) I feel like I can be me again. I can and do create. I can and do write. I can and do speak. I make friends. I say Hi to stangers.

(+1) We are still on a tight budget. We will likely never be the sort of people to jet off on expensive vacations or buy furs and diamonds (for ourselves)- but we live much more simply here- and that has its own benefits. We walk a lot and take public transit- or rent a car if we need it. B'H we have managed to dig our way out so that we can hold our heads up without collpasing under the weight of our worries. We have even started planning for tomorrow- something we could never do while we were still trying to deal with yesterday.

(+1) Channah is loving school and making friends. We have playdates generally at least once a week, and spend lots of time shmoozing with other families at the park.

(+1) We are able to do things here we could never consider before. Channah is taking ballet, and we take family day trips to fun places. Jason and I are going to be taking our first real vacation alone (as in longer than 18 hours) since before I was pregnant with Channah.

(+1) I enjoy going to shul and am making friends there.

(+1) I no longer participate in most internet forums, and those I do participate in are just on the sidelines. I have a new stance on internet drama and for the most part I have relearned that people online can not substitute for real humans. They also can not hurt me unless I let them.

(+1) I am happy. I am healthy. I am out and about day in and day out.

(+1) Jason is happy in ulpan. Job prospects, although not great, look good.

(-1) I am also afriad. I have never been this close to a military action. I can hear the planes flying over my home at night, and I know that we are not so far off from being in the line of fire. Hashem yishmor.

(-1) I miss family and friends from Toronto.

(+1) I feel like I am a part of my community. A part of my life and not an outsider.

2009 HQ = (+11)

I am happier here than I ever remember being. We are living how we want to, where we want to. Things may nto be perfect, but looking back over the last year I can not fathom how far things have come. I barely recognize myself as the same person I was then.

1 comment:

Laura Tenenbaum said...

I'm glad to hear that things are looking up for you and your family!!!

Best wishes for a happy 2009!