Avoid coming down with the “I’ll Be Happy When…” Syndrome

I call it the “I’ll be happy when…” syndrome. It starts subtly but it spreads quickly. It goes something like this:  I’ll be happy when I finish this project, or, I’ll be happy when I can afford to buy _____, or, I’ll be happy when I can lose ten pounds, or, I’ll be happy when (fill in your blank)… and before you know it you are afflicted with this terrible sickness.

It’s a sickness that is so easy to catch if we aren’t careful. We’ve all had it at one point or another (heaven knows I have) and most of us still find ourselves coming down with it every so often, some even daily, if we don’t find ways to prevent it from creeping into our lives and infecting us.

It usually stems from some dissatisfaction with the way things are today…we notice some “thing” that we wish was different or that we wish we had…never mind the fact that the thing we want may be just around the corner waiting for us because that isn’t good enough, we want it right now!  And so we start thinking about it all the time, hyper-focusing on how we can get it tomorrow until we are so caught up in those thoughts that we literally don’t see what is happening around us right now today.

Life is precious and our time in this life is limited. When a day passes by we can’t get it back ever again, it is gone forever, so if we miss what happened in that day…if we miss the beauty it held or the relationships we might have enjoyed, we can never get those moments back again…not ever…

We need to take notice of each minute within today’s 24 hours. We need to appreciate the happy and the sad and the exciting and the dull…we need to relish what is happening around us right here and right now each moment of the day.

Today is exactly the day we are supposed to be living in. It is exactly the experiences we are supposed to be going through in order to take us somewhere amazing in our future. And no amount of wishing for the future is going to bring it to us any sooner. The future will come in the timeframe that it should. And more often than naught the future comes much faster than we end up liking…and we are left looking back at how quickly time passed, wishing we could somehow get it back to go through again with a much greater appreciation for it while it was there…

Each today we are given is precious and each moment of that day matters. So it is our job to find ways to ensure that we appreciate each moment of each day. For as Ralph Waldo Emerson explains about “todays”:

“They are of the least pretension and of the greatest capacity of anything that exists. They come and go like muffled and veiled figures, sent from a distant friendly party; but they say nothing, and if we do not use the gifts they bring, they carry them as silently away.”

I am going to try much harder to use the gifts that each day brings…to live in the moment more…to focus on ‘what is’ instead of ‘what isn’t’…to appreciate the unique experiences that each day provides….and to focus more on the people I love.

Have a beautiful day everyone! And BE HAPPY! …NOW!!!!

~Amy Rees Anderson


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