So I've just taken Oprah's Happiness Quiz, and, according to her, and guest Goldie Hahn, I'm happy enough, but I could be doing so much better. One of the questions was do you think that happiness is genetic? According to Oprah, 50% of our happiness is genetic. Does anyone else find that a troubling statistic?
My dad is the high priest of pessimism. Got a new job, Dad will worry over how long you'll keep it. Got a promotion at work? Dad will wonder how long before the stress from all of that work will kill you. So are my genetics my destiny? Well, the good news, for me at least, is that my Mom is little miss sunshine. Got a new job? Wonderful, let's celebrate and figure out what you're going to wear!! Just got that promotion you've been working so hard for? Awesome, let's celebrate some more and figure out where you're going to invest all of that extra money!! Two parents, two different takes on the same event - it's like my own personal Rashomon effect! If 50% of my happiness is genetic, then what portion of that 50% comes from Dad and which from Mom?
As for the other 50% of my happiness, well, according to Oprah and Goldie, having children may or may not make me happy, having sex definitely will make me happy, knowing my neighbors will make me feel happier and safer (although I think it all depends on who those neighbors are), and having time alone every day will "CHANGE MY LIFE!!" (that's my Oprah voice, but la Goldie readily agreed so it must be true).
Now I don't mean to sound snarky, and I think it's sweet and lovely of Oprah and Goldie to show me that, even without their Emmy Awards and millions of dollars, there are ways for me to, as Oprah says, "up your joy" (that sounds slightly naughty, doesn't it?). But my spirit guides usually aren't sporting Cartier rings and LV bags, and so it's a little hard to take when Oprah tells me how much money I need to be happy (hint: its a figure much lower than her personal worth).
The one pearl that I gained from Oprah and la Goldie was what happiness comes through our connections to one another, so that no matter how much of a Debbie Downer my Dad can be, our connection to each other brings him some happiness, and that makes me happy, too:)
I'm just saying.