Are you happy?


My friend has come on holidays. I’ve known her for 13 years now, from my happily single days to being married and now to being a mother of two. Things have changed so much in the past thirteen years. I have changed from being a working woman to a stay at home. I have moved two countries, and most of all I have become quieter.


The very first day she arrived, I was sitting and chatting with her and we were talking about our common friends and every time I ask about someone she would say “I don’t think she is as happy as she says she is”. After asking about a couple of people I knew what she would say and also was wondering when the question would be asked of me!


At nearly the fag end of her holidays, yesterday the question popped up. “Are you happy? She asked me.


I was busy doing something in the kitchen, so without turning around, I said “Yes, I am!” and continued on with the work without explaining it.


Then this morning after twenty four hours of thinking over it and analysing it, she declared this morning “You look happy and not so happy, if you know what I mean”. I smiled. I was well prepared for this. I didn’t get a chance to explain things to her. But all I told her was that I was happy that the way things were. I have my children at home with me. My children were generally well behaved and calm. They were independent and talented. I am happy to be travelling as how I pleased. What is there for me not to be happy?


Then she said “Yesterday when we spoke about such and such a thing there was a spark in your eyes but in general I see you running around the house doing this and that, that is iall”


I could have looked at her in the eye and told her many things, though I couldn’t and didn’t for a couple of reasons. 1. I didn’t get the time or chance to tell her. 2. I don’t have to justify myself to anyone.


How can someone coming over for holidays, spending a few hours with me after like seven or eight years decide if I am happy or not? What makes them the best judge? Why is there even a need for them to judge if I am happy or not, if they cannot do anything about it? In the eight years, she has changed too, her job has changed, she has bought a house, travelled around more… but then she is still single. My life revolves around my children. The topics I read are about “breastfeeding, baby wearing, baby led weaning, gentle parenting, cloth diapering, attachment parenting” and a whole pile of other child based topics. I am happy to be reading and writing about all this. For me, this is my life now where as I cannot talk about all this to her. So I have remained quiet for most part when she was discussing with my husband various topics that don’t interest me anymore except that one topic she spoke about.


Probably if she spoke about babies to me, I would have spent hours together discussing with her. But she is not keen on babies and I am not keen on topics that interest her! So does that make me unhappy?


I wanted to tell her, that people are generally happy and please don’t go around talking about people’s life like this. Please don’t judge people this way, we all have the right to live the way we want and just because we don’t talk much and just because we nothing common to talk about doesn’t mean I am unhappy and you are happy in any which way!

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