Your life will be better

Posted on: 8 October 2008

 Rob Stenders just played this song from the Tamperer: “If you play this record, your life will be better”. An obscure dance act currently in a 10 year long radio silence. 

Brilliant lyrics actually – the tune of our time, isn’t it? If you … your life will be better. Apperently, our lives aren’t alright as they are. I catch myself harbouring similar thoughts. If I just … I’ll be happy. My happiness as a basic right I have to fight for. We’ve gotta fight! For our right! To be haaaaappyyyy! (shout out to Public Enemy). All our wealth, all our choices. If we are not happy, or as happy as we conceivable could be, we must be doing something wrong. Here’s what that tune in my head sounds like:

  • If I could just lose those 9 kilos.
  • If I could just play more with my 10 month old. Better. Make him laugh more.
  • If I could just find a cure for depression.
  • If I could just help my partner’s depressed colleague.
  • If I could just find a job.
  • If I could just feel like I was part of something bigger.
  • If I could just reach around that corner, where I could realize my true potential.
  • If I just knew what my true potential was.
  • If I just had some friends to call my crowd.
  • If I just knew how to organise a relaxed birthday party (for my son).
  • If I just had a secure income source.
  • If I could just share more with my husband.
  • If I could just be more like Oprah.
  • If I could just be more sensitive (decisive, structured, organised, social).

How much time do we spend in this dreamlike state? Dreaming about things we would like to be or do, thereby missing the actual opportunities life is presenting us constantly? Is this what Arthur Deikman refers to as “The trance of everyday life”? When I think such thoughts, I am lost to the outside world, lost in my own world. Entranced, fascinated by them. Am I thinking I should play more with Florian, when he is right there in front of me begging to be played with, and I should just do it? Step from thinking into action? What is holding me back?

Yes, you tell me, but you need a vision to get anywhere. The vision will help you decide what to do now to reach these goals. Ah yes, if I just had a vision! Something to work towards! My life could be so much more… I could be so much more!

The hintergrund thought always being: its not enough, not good enough, you are not enough.

And why, really? Why would you not be good enough? Why would you not be exactly right? What is causing this feeling of just a little more, just a little better?

OK, in my case, I know I should find a job. I would like to provide for my family and myself, to join a working community, to serve people, clients and collegues alike. And I do work towards this.

But a lot of it is useless stress. The more, more, more we have so obediently incorporated is an echo of advertising. Which in turn is an echo of capitalism and the growth doctrine: a healthy economy should always be growing. Somehow this trickled down to our own financial and personal lives. In order to be satisfactory, we should always be growing. What about durability? Sustaining? Could we consider tuning in to a different channel? Follow a more natural scenario? Growth, yes indeed – in spring, in children. But invariably, dwindling, disappearing and death occur: come fall, come old age. Come winter, come death. Only to renew again and continue the circle of life (now Elton is blearing in my mind’s ear – you see why I need silence when writing).

So of course, I look at our current financial crisis with mild curiosity. What is dying, what will renew?

But looking at my own little crises – I do let such thoughts get me down sometimes – the pendulum swings towards this. Are we throwing away the baby with the washing water? It is so hard to meet with people these days. Everyone is so busy – it is not just the families with young kids and two jobs anymore, either. No, the pensionistas, the active 40 and 50 somethings, the teens and of course, the roaring twenties. Everyone is so busy all the time. It is virtually impossible to get someone to share a spontaneous cup of coffee or tea. We must schedule these. I find myself thinking of reasons, activities to undertake with so-and-so – friends, relatives, neighbours – just so I can spend some time with them. I refuse to believe it is me – everyone seems happy enough to spend time with me once they have set the time aside from their busy schedules.

Are people, entertainment, information, so easily available to us now, that we are unable to just spend time together? I know it is hard for me. I find myself weary of just hanging around with a friend, just chatting. I feel restless, I feel we have to make conversation, help eachother move forward in our lives, make a connection, help eachother develop a vision, enjoy our lives more.

Otherwise, I have to say my life feels pretty good today. It helps that I have been working towards some of above goals:

– I did 20 mins. of Pilates this morning and have eaten healthily all day. Will do some rope skipping after finishing this post.

– Tonight, my downstairs neighbours are coming up for pumpkin soup, helping me by offering me company and preventing the soup from overcrowding our freezer space, me helping them by time- and dishes- saving.

– I have scheduled a trial interview for a desired job and a networking coffee with a contact from a desired company.

– My jobcoach, whom I spoke this morning, tells me I am doing very well on the jobhunting front, compared to her other clients. Working proactively, yet relaxed..

– That reminds me, I want to schedule another interviewing prep session with Marieke, and sign me up for the next workshop.

– For Florian’s birthday, I am considering drinks for the wider circle in Elsa’s – it’s a Tuesday, so the crowd won’t be that big. It’s smokefree now, isn’t that wonderful! The family will have to come for cake and coffee, I really see no other solution.

– And thank you for reminding me to change the fuse in the lightswitch without electrocuting myself, and call Eric about the Verbier appt.

Signing out.


1 Response to "Your life will be better"

Interesting post! Bit long though… haha


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