The Number One Most Important Thing You Need To Do To Be Happy

I remember being a kid and whining to my parents that time was going by too slowly and them telling me, “Enjoy it while you can, just wait until you’re an adult, time will fly by and you’ll want it to slow down.” I couldn’t imagine how time could ever go too fast. I have spent most of my life wishing it away.

I think many of us are guilty of either wishing things wouldn’t change or wishing things would change; always wanting to slow time down, go back in time or speed time up because then we would have what we need to be happy.

I know I look back and think, “If I could go back I would do things differently” but in life we don’t get to call “DO OVER!!” Once it is done it is done. No point in crying over it or wishing it was different because no amount of dwelling, wishing, obsessing about the past is going to change it.

And we worry about the future and the things that “might” happen. “What if I meet another narcissist?” “How can I ever trust a guy again?” “I am so old I will never find love”. “How will the kids survive without their father in their life?” “How will I support myself?”, “What if he tries to get me back?” “What if he doesn’t try to get me back?”

Or we put living off until………………

“Once I get that promotion I will be able to relax and enjoy my life” “If he would just appreciate me I would be happy.” or “If he was honest I could be happy.” or “What if he is happy with the new woman?” or “What if it was my fault?”

We spend so much time in the past and in the future and thinking about the “what if’s” there isn’t any time for the present and we miss what is happening right now, under our noses, blessings we can’t see or appreciate because we are so consumed with things we have no control over.

So what if it was your fault? You can’t change the past. If you are so concerned about whether it was your own fault or not; figure out what you did wrong and correct it so you don’t do it next time. What’s that you say? He did what? and then he did what? but you still think it was your fault. No? well then why are you worrying about it being your fault? If there is no way you could have changed that would have made him happy, why are you wasting your today thinking about it?

What if he is happy with the new woman? How is that going to affect YOUR life? the relationship with him is over, you have to accept that and eventually heal and move on. Sure it would hurt your ego a bit if he found happiness with someone else but other than that how does obsessing about it help you? or change things for you? As far as I can tell the only thing thinking about how happy he is is going to do is make you unhappy. I think it is quite possible James will spend the rest of his life with his new woman. She had money, she didn’t work and never has and has always spent her life catering to the man in her life, she had no children he had to share her with, no pets either, I have no idea how much she is willing to put up with, how naive she is, maybe she has endless amounts of cash to keep him happy.

All I DO know is, I had to work, I didn’t have endless amounts of cash, I did have a child I loved and wanted to spend time with, I wasn’t naive and I did figure out he was cheating and I was miserably unhappy and I was sacrificing my core beliefs and values in order to keep him in my life and it was killing me. I could never have given him what she can or has. It is not a didn’t want to, it is a fact! I could not give him what he wanted, it doesn’t make me a bad person, it is just facts. He set out to meet a certain type of woman and he found what he was looking for and if I would have been able to choose a woman for him it would have been her. As for him being the man for her I sincerely doubt it but that is not my problem or concern. I have no doubt I was NOT the woman for him, so to spend one minute worrying about whether he is happy or not is wasting very precious time.

My parents were right, time is speeding up at a phenomenal rate; I often feel like a kid on one of those merry-go-rounds and it’s going too fast, the scenery is whizzing past a blur in front of my eyes and it’s making me dizzy. I didn’t want to jump off, I’m having fun, but I sure the hell wish someone would slow it down a bit.  Sometimes I even stick my feet down and dig my heels in trying to slow it down but all that does is make a lot of dust.

I spent the day cleaning at my son’s yesterday. It’s an almost 3 hour drive up there, I made a Shepherd’s Pie for supper and took it up with me because he hasn’t been feeling well and that is his favorite supper. I cleaned and he came home from work and had invited a friend and his mom over to join us for supper. I had only made a big Shepherd’s Pie and nothing else, there probably should have been a salad or something with it but “Oh well” I am perfectly imperfect these days and it was a damn good Shepherd’s Pie. One of my son’s roomies ate with us also. I got to know her a bit better while I was there alone cleaning and I really like her. She has had her shit to deal with in life, she is struggling with decisions and which fork to take at the crossroads of life. The mother of his friend is a very nice lady only a few years younger than me and who is going through exactly what all of you have gone through. I told her exactly how the relationship had gone from the beginning and I think she was a little surprised I knew. I hope she comes by for a visit. She is just starting her journey and we all know how broken a person feels in the first few weeks.

My son and I had a few good laughs sharing stories from his youth and his buddy asked me if my son actually had been a pastor. I told him, “You bet! he could have married people.” The buddy hadn’t believed my son because he certainly doesn’t act like a “pastor” or look the part with his tattoos from his fingertips to his ear lobes. My son is a very complex combination of interests, talents, experiences, and I look at him with awe. (as many of you know I am very proud of my boy) what i find truly inspiring about him is he has had some truly horrible things happen in his life, some traumatic, disturbing shit that could have put him into total despair, shit that many men twice his age would have crumbled under the weight of, but he always learns from it and goes on with life a better person for it. He can be totally pissed off at someone, justifiably pissed off, and tell the person exactly how he feels and totally put it behind him and go on with living. He has an immense capacity for forgiveness, he has a great sense of humor and he respects other people. He does what he can to help who he can. Once in a while he will get overwhelmed and at those times I worry about him but I have learned to let it go and trust that he is 31 and made it this far and he will make it through whatever is happening in his life now. I used to worry myself into full blown panic attacks over him and what might happen and in every single case what I was worrying about never came to be. I helped him when I could and the times I couldn’t help he found a way on his own, so I gave up feeling guilty if I couldn’t help and now I give to him when I can with what I have and that dinner last night was perfect. It was what I could give at this time. He taught me a valuable lesson a few years back that I shared last night at dinner. I had asked him what he favorite childhood memory was. I was sure I knew what it would be, it would be the trip to Disneyland I was able to take him on. To me, taking my kid to Disneyland was symbolic of being a successful parent. I had arrived at the summit of parenthood and achieved the crowning glory! So I knew exactly what he was going to say was his favorite memory.

He didn’t hesitate in the least and said, “When you bought me that Louieville Slugger baseball bat that was so heavy I couldn’t lift it and you tried to teach me how to hit a baseball in that tiny yard at the lake.” I was shocked. But you know what kids remember? They remember the time you took with them.

While we sat at the table last night reminiscing we laughed about things we once had cried over, with time they have become cherished memories, life lessons, part of the past that makes us who we are but doesn’t define us in the present or the future.

My son talked me into staying the night instead of driving home in the dark so I slept on the couch. His roomie brought me a pillow and a blanket and showed me how the remote worked, my son gave me a kiss goodnight and said, “I love you Mom. thank for supper.”

I had pains behind my shoulder like I had with my last heart attack. My heart has been acting up lately, on Monday I did a landscaping job, it was a big job and it was hot, I know I over did it but am thankful for the money. It concerned me a bit last night because I was getting that congestion in my lungs again and not had that since I had heart failure. I took my meds, not much else I can do. My point is, if I would have died last night I would have died happy and at peace, with the one person who means the most to me and not with someone who doesn’t give a shit about me, enjoyed making me sad and encouraged me to kill myself.

As I snuggled down on the couch, unable to sleep I was thinking how perfect life was at that moment. I had just spent the night in lively conversation with my boy and his friends eating a dinner I was able to prepare, in a house he had paid me to clean. My past experiences made it possible for me to be able to relate to the roomie and the friend’s mom and I think I was able to help her a little bit with what she is facing right now. She said she was happy we had met and that people are brought into your life for a reason and I believe that also. I was able to show her that yes you will survive and get past this even though you feel broken now.

And you will too. If you knew you were going to die in a year, would you want to spend the last year of your life wishing things were different, worrying about the future, wishing people would change so you could be happy? Would you want to spend that year with a man who loathes you and has no empathy for you (and undoubtedly would be a total prick if you were dying); or would you want to spend it with the people who love and appreciate you doing nice things for them and enjoying lively conversation?

My son forwarded this text message he had with a girl he was chatting to. I am SO blessed he feels this way.
My son forwarded this text message he had with a girl he was chatting to. I am SO blessed he feels this way.

Life goes by too fast to allow the bullshit to occupy real estate in your mind, stop focusing on the bullshit narcissist so there is more room for the positive things available to you.

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10 Replies to “The Number One Most Important Thing You Need To Do To Be Happy”

  1. Very nice post Carrie. I couldn’t help thinking about the similarities between your ex narc and my ex psycho boy. Maybe I didn’t waste 10 years on him being abused, but what I got was more than enough to do me a lifetime!

    Anyhow, I’m happy to say that I think of psycho boy less and less. Yes, I too never could have given him the fine home and lifestyle he currently enjoys with his OW. But that’s okay! In a very real way, I think she saved my life by taking him over! He can’t love, he has nothing to give but pain and grief. I’m the lucky one!

    My current conundrum involves my new-old relationship with my first love from when we were teenage lovers..and another OW swooped him and took him from me. She was pregnant, and my brothers have both claimed to have helped her to get that way! I don’t blame her. She apparently had something I didn’t, and they had near 45 ears of happy married life.

    She died last years, and my ex (non-psychopathic)…He says he was so young and dumb then (like around 17 or so!), and the only thing he regrets is that he did not treat me better. Since we’ve reconnected, he’s been very kind, sweet, considerate of me. Yet….I still remember the past with him when he cheated, and abandoned me. I cannot trust him, and while I enjoy spending time, with him…there’s no love or passion on my part although we are dating again.

    Where that’s gonna go, I don’t know. Time will tell. I believe anything is possible. Do take care of yourself, and be well.

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  2. oh carrie i just read your post i do hope you dont overdo things with your heart this was a moving post you are right you always put things into perspective i have to have a scan done soon of my spine i have increasing pain life is too short to spend thinking about the past the other day my daughter said something he used to say well you dont help yourself do you i got a bit annoyed and said she needs to show empathy towards people if she wants to be a nurse she then said dont go on another line from him then she settled down and came to me and apologised it was fine this is what comes from having a narc dad but she does have empathy and cares underneath thats why she wants to be a nurse she helps me with shopping and works long hours she doesnt see him very often i think he doesnt contact her very often i feelo she is dissapointed in him although she wouild never say he said cruel things awhile ago about he didnt have a lovely family i think he is completly preoccupied with himself going mad at the gym and dating women i am enjoying my daughter without him carrie you are right concentrating on the blessings we have in our lives now i am pleased you are happy but please mind your health hugs to you xxx ps you made me think of my mums shephards pie lovely memory she cant cook now she is disabled but i will make one thankyou carrie xxx

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    1. Kim, I am glad to hear your daughter apologized. She is going through her own grief, trying to make sense of things, come to terms with what he really is. With time you are going to even get closer and bond over this I know.
      I often now remove myself (figuratively) as if I am a fly on the wall and watch my life sometimes, just absorbing my life and appreciating it so much. The simplest things have taken on such importance because I almost lost them forever. I have to be very hard on myself and not allow myself to regret the years I was with James and missed so many times with my son. Everything happens for a reason and the past makes us who we are today. my son is probably a better man for all he has been through and we have a much deeper bond because of it.
      My son’s buddy was relating something that happened last weekend and I thought it was very interesting. My son and him went to Kelowna, it’s a tough town, tourist town, party place, I was glad when my son moved away from there. But my grand daughter lives close by and his buddy was getting a tattoo there so my son rode along so he could see his daughter and visit some old friends. They weren’t in town 45 minutes and my son ran across the parking lot at the liquor store and accidentally ran in front of a car. The driver of the car slammed on his brakes, got out, my son said the guy was huge, at least 250 lbs and ran up to him and punched him in the head. My son laughed and said, “Is that the best that you’ve got?” and the guy ran back to his car and drove off. Not long ago my son would have pounded the crap out of the guy. But he knows it isn’t worth it, he has better things to do with his life than to let the assholes of the world get to him.
      I always learn something from my boy, from life. Every day is so precious.

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      1. carrie im so pleased your son was ok its always worrying for us mums what they get up to when we arent around we just want to protect them its instinct my daughter went to africa some years ago for months i was out of my mind with worry she had lions and alsorts around her tent and i found out she did a bungie over the falls i coulnt watch the video her scream it was terrifying i felt her fear she came back i was so relieved the year after nairobi airport was bombed where she was such luck she was the year before it doesnt bear thinking about xxx

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  3. Carrie…
    Thanks so much for this post! It truly is like a knock on the head…just when I needed it most! I was feeling so good about leaving my N and then I just started to backslide. It’s been just over a month that I broke up with my N. I had just spent a lovely time away with some old college buds and just really starting to get on and looking forward to a ‘new’ life without him. I’m getting interested in painting again and getting healthy and getting my finances in order (out of debt mostly due to my ex N and other past ex N’s), etc etc blah blah blah. So what do I go and do? I unblock him on FB and decided to take a peek. I saw what I guess I knew I would see. The new woman in his life and all the silly, naive women on his page telling him how great and handsome he looks! (He changes his profile pic every 5 minutes it seems; He isn’t even all that, smh…). So why am I tripping? He has nothing; no car, no real full-time job, no house, no apartment, no money. He owes child-support up the ying-yang and I’m tripping over WHAT???? He puts up alot of posts to get attention and I know that, yet I’m so freakin’ jealous I can’t stand it! Man, am I backsliding!!! All the bad feelings, anxiety has come back! Wondering if she’s prettier or better in bed. Wondering if she has a good job making good money. Now I understand why his ex was stalking me on Linkedin! I’m her now! Why would I want that insane world of his again? A world of no peace, constant stalking, wondering, doubting and second-guessing myself and my abilities! Uggghh!!! I know it’s only been barely over a month but omg. I just want this all behind me now! I wish I could just pack up and leave to another town! Anyway…I’m just venting more than anything. I know I’ll be alright again. Just for anyone who is reading this…NO CONTACT! NOTHING! BLOCK EVERYTHING!

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  4. Carrie,

    Thank you for these posts. I am just catching up since i have been away from HIM now for 3 months.
    I go to church, I volunteer at a local food bank, I pay MY OWN BILLS with money left over FOR ME, and I go about my business….
    It’s good to breath and enjoy life again.
    Don’t get me wrong i still have to do the deal. I still have to wake up every morning and remember I am in my own bedroom (which I still block all entry to) , I still go to meetings at a shelter far away from where I live, I have a bank account (but he knows that now).
    So, besides having to hide somethings even change those hiding places for now (name change to follow), I HAVE A LIFE of my own.
    Heavenly father never fails to hear my prayers……so I never fail to pray every minute of every day.
    TV

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