I don’t want to take the elevator at work anymore. However, I work on the 31st floor, so I don’t think it matters a whole helluva lot what I want. They’ve installed these handy little monitors in all the elevators (1984, anyone?) that broadcast headlines, stock prices, and weather. Every morning I get into this elevator and see stories about a cop’s wife going missing, or another woman who went missing was found with her throat slashed, or a mother of three shot and killed while trick-or-treating with her children. This is no way to start your day. I got to my desk one morning and said to a coworker, “Every time I take the elevator I get so depressed.” Perhaps you’re thinking that whenever I am on the elevator I should develop an intense interest in my shoes and avoid the little monitor altogether. But see, they planned ahead for that–there are all these eye-catching graphics moving around on there–drawing your attention and sucking you in to the bad news. I’m powerless, really.
I guess it’s a give-and-take. In order to be current in the news, you have to wrestle with the stymieing despondency and feelings of hopelessness at the depravity of man. Oh, but I did read today that although 77% of consumers go to the grocery store with a shopping list, roughly half of all expenditures are impulse buys.
So that’s something.
Last night Tim and I went out to dinner and talked about life. Specifically, how we’d gotten to where we are and whether or not we’re happy. Take, for example, my friends from high school. All of my high school friends are still living in the same area (a small town in Ohio). They are all married and have started/are starting families. Only one of them went to college. And here I am living in Chicago, with a college degree, and very unmarried. I’m not saying what I did is better or worse compared to them, but that it’s so incredibly different. And It was those differences that Tim and I discussed.
He asked me if I was happy with the direction my life has gone. I didn’t really know how to answer that. I mean, I’m not unhappy. And I know I’m happy with who I am. And I wouldn’t be who I was if I hadn’t gone in this direction–I don’t think, anyway. But at the same time, I can picture myself having taken the route my friends did–living in a small town with a husband and some kids. And I can see myself happy there as well.
“Am I happy?” is a question that people don’t ask themselves enough. Perhaps that is because if the answer is a no, the next question is “Why not?” And then they have to do something about it–which, if it’s worth it, won’t be easy. Complacency is easy.