Monday, February 06, 2006

The opposite of happy

Back when I was functioning well enough to be working, I was finishing up my degrees working in various classrooms. During my time at a private preschool, one of the units we worked on was Opposites. Now, because I was a student teacher at the time, I sometimes had to follow the lessons planned by the actual classroom teacher, rather than making my own. She was a good teacher, with a different teaching style than my own, so sometimes these lessons didn't go exactly as planned (then again, I have NEVER had a lesson go exactly as planned, so this is not unusual). Anyways, the unit was Opposites, and the lesson plan ventured into the area of feelings. I was supposed to pose the questions:

The opposite of sad is ______?

The opposite of angry is _____?

The opposite of happy is____?

The only problem was, I didn't have a clue what the answers were supposed to be. They looked clear cut enough, but once I started to think about it, I couldn't make up my mind.... what is the opposite of sad? Happy? Glad? Excited? And if I'm the opposite of angry, wouldn't I be feeling generous or extraordinarily nice or something? The thesaurus that lives in my brain wound up making the whole thing MUCH too complicated for a bunch of 3 & 4 year olds. But...

It does make a nice little segue for today's post...

Which is the most complicated of the questions above: what is the opposite of happy?

Is the opposite of happy really sad? Sad doesn't really begin to cover it, does it? And unhappy is particularly unworthy, because it doesn't really describe anything: It kind of matters how long you're unhappy, why you're not happy, and a bunch of other things. But what about gloomy, miserable, bereft? They're a better fit, yet still a bit too loose a definition.

Because I've given this way too much thought, the two best answers I've come up with are: Cheerless and Melancholy.

Cheerless: Adj.: bleak, joyless.

Melancholy: Adj.: Dismay, pensive, depressed.

Today has been an "opposite of happy" kind of a day. When they happen, it's hard to remember that there are any other kinds of days. The things that would normally make my day, like seeing an update on Amalah (complete with cute baby pictures), or checking out the new & snarkworthy covers up at Smart Bitches, do little to improve my mood. The people in my house are acting odd, guarding their words, asking each other what is wrong with me (I can totally hear you btw... you do not whisper well ). I wonder what is wrong with me too, because nothing new happened: it's just that today, the weight of the SOS seems five/fifty/five thousand times heavier than normal.

So I'm giving myself permission, just for today, to feel all the wrong things, and just let them be:

Just for today

I won't pretend that everything is o.k., that this waiting isn't driving me nuts.

I won't just listen to everyone else's problems: if I think it is a stupid and useless problem, I will let myself think that.

And because I may want to shout "You don't understand! You DON'T HAVE ANY REAL PROBLEMS, and must resort to MAKING UP DRAMA ..." I will avoid people.

I will let myself play Zuma for 5 hours, and stew over the fact that I'm supposed to be making phone calls/cleaning/weeding through paperwork.

I will play whatever sort of music I want - if I want to listen to Home by Michael Buble 6 times in a row, I will do so.

I will allow myself to feel sad for all that I am missing.

I will be jealous of all the people in my life who have their health, and their own lives, and all the other things that I don't have.

I will have leftover lemon poppyseed cake, with Extra icing, and not care how many points the stupid thing is worth.

I will not take the medicine that makes me nauseous, just for today... I can't deal with it today.

I will not feel guilty about doing these things, or not doing them, as the case may be: It's just for today.

Ok, I Lied: I will only feel slightly guilty (b/c I still can't find the guilt-off-switch).

I will shut the door if I want to, and ignore any knocks on it. Or the phone rining, or the IM's pinging.

I will let myself pretend that the reason I am crying is that this song is very sad, and glare evilishly at anyone who contradicts me.

I will make up my own words (evilishly? WTF?) in a blog post and leave them in, just because I can.

I will realize that feeling sorry for myself for a little while is NOT ridiculously self-indulgent, even though I have lots of things to be happy for. I will be happy for them tomorrow.

Today is for brooding.


Anonymous said...

I know that feeling all too well. Here's hoping tomorrow is a better day! x

Anonymous said...

wow, i am greatful to have found something like this in writing. just about every single thing said here under "just for today" relates to me and my views on life as it is and although it would probably seem like a good thing to spread to the world, i truly think that the only people who will ever understand what this means are the ones who seek it out themselves.

Never That Easy said...

Anonymous(es) -

Thanks so much for chiming in ~ it's very reassuring to know that other people feel that way sometimes too.

Anonymous said...

i was wondering.. if the opposite of love was the feeling of indifference, would it be the same for happiness? or sadness? or any other feeling? X(

anyways. i hope tomorrow would be a better day for you.

and for everybody else. :)