Happiness and the Good and the Bad

When we were little, my older sister and I would occasionally play Uno with only the awesome cards.  Imagine!  Every turn a Reverse, Wild, or Draw 4!  Sooooo fun!!!

Except it wasn’t.  Not even the first time.  It turns out that all the special cards aren’t special or fun without the regular cards.  There was no anticipatory excitement about getting a “good” card because you already knew you would.  Every card was good… except it wasn’t.  It still had the same cool function, but because there was no potential for getting anything but a good card, that “goodness” just disappeared.

“Good” and “bad” are relative terms.   Something is only good or bad compared to something else.  One person’s version of a good day might be someone else’s bad day.  If you’re used to chronic pain, a day where you only had a little might be one for the memory books.  To someone else who lives pain-free, having that same amount of pain one day might cause them a lot of anxiety, frustration, and irritability.

In order to appreciate the great stuff, you have to be willing to experience and even appreciate the difficult stuff (your rotten ex makes you more appreciative of your current partner.  You can finally breathe now that allergy season is over – who knew breathing was so awesome?!).  Next time something happens that you wish hadn’t, instead of focusing on the impossible (trying to wish away reality), focus on appreciating that “bad thing.”  Its occurrence will make your good times that much sweeter.