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As spurred by recently hoopla surrounding women settling/not settling (i.e. this Times article; Lori Gottlieb, Sandra Tsing-Loh’s uhh “family situation,” etc.), Perri and I have been discussing “happiness” a lot recently. She sent me Rebecca Traister’s (surprisingly not nihilistic) take Screw Happiness.
The not-despair was, in fact, as great as “happiness.” I was making it through, getting by. I didn’t need satisfaction or contentment or anything approaching perfection. I was proud to be waking up in the morning and going to work, enjoying the intermittent flashing pleasures of a laugh with friends or a drink with colleagues. I can’t imagine that sunrise singing would have boosted me any closer to ecstasy. Then again, perhaps this is exactly what Rubin was prescribing for me at that lunch: the baby steps that inched me toward happier, if not happy.
I’ve always maintained that despite all my neuroses and complaints, I’m pretty content. I guess this is proof of it. Fun is overrated, says the girl (woman?) graduating in a week.
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