Happiness Scale



  • So.

    We have a massive range of people here. We cover age divides, races, sexuality, nationality. We have people with kids and people without, for a variety of reasons.

    The question I'm asking tonight, is "are you content?" Do you feel like life is working for you?

    To clarify, this isn't a cry for help, though I'm here for anyone who wants to vent. I'm just keen to understand if people are where they thought they would be, and if they are, if being there is all that they expected.

    From a personal perspective, we chased a lifestyle change this year, and it really didn't come off. Got a wild range of emotions happening now that we are back. It's very weird. I dont quite know where we should be right now.

    But, obviously 2020 fucked with everyone, and with many people in ways waaaay worse than for us. I'm keen to hear those stories.

    Are youse fullas in good spaces? Has it all worked out for you???



  • Great idea for a thread!

    We did the lifestyle change 3.5 years ago. I had no regrets until this year, now I'm not so sure.



  • @MajorRage said in Happiness Scale:

    Great idea for a thread!

    We did the lifestyle change 3.5 years ago. I had no regrets until this year, now I'm not so sure.

    Love to hear you elaborate on that mate?



  • @MajorRage said in Happiness Scale:

    Great idea for a thread!

    We did the lifestyle change 3.5 years ago. I had no regrets until this year, now I'm not so sure.

    In some ways it is a good time to ask oneself these sort of questions but I also think that it is not such a good time to come up with any answers. 2020 is such an outlier of a year and it has fucked with so many people's short term plans and the longer term plans of a few too. I'm always wary of making any important decisions after suffering some form of crisis or for that matter after having enjoyed some surprisingly bountiful times.

    Having said that I now ask the question "am I content"? And I have to say at this moment in time the answer is no. I have been looking at retiring for a little while now but a few things have made me hold back - all good things I have to add and now, suddenly I find things beyond my control have altered the whole situation dramatically. This makes me feel uncomfortable. In truth, if I really dig into things, I'm still well placed and have no real concerns but for the first time in many years I do not feel in control and that gives me the shits.

    Plus I have two ski trips booked this winter and don't know if I'll be able to go on either of them thanks to this bloody virus. That gives me the shits too.



  • Retired & pretty much secure living in a great part of the world. Relative to age, probably fitter than I've been for years. Lucky with Covid, though did both get it and it buggered me up with low-level flu-like crap all this summer.

    Thing is you can always find stuff to be unhappy about and reduce your happiness scale. Mrs M's elderly parents' situation is a huge problem at the moment, but we know we'll get thru it.



  • @voodoo said in Happiness Scale:

    @MajorRage said in Happiness Scale:

    Great idea for a thread!

    We did the lifestyle change 3.5 years ago. I had no regrets until this year, now I'm not so sure.

    Love to hear you elaborate on that mate?

    Basically, when we left Asia, we planned to come to the UK, and look to either buy or start a business. Both my wife and I had potential business partner & ideas. Anyway, my wife's idea was pretty much so beaten to by somebody up in Tooting which was going to make it difficult & mine was an automotive thing but after some research into the business I was looking at going partners in, I didn't get the feel that it was right. Or to be polite, the business was shit & my cash injection was really only going to cover some high interest short term debts (If anybody is seriously interested, happy to PM, but won't post (publicly).

    So I went back into the rat race on a temporary measure, and then as a couple of things came up which we were looking into, Covid hit. And now it feels like we are treading water, with no easily visible way to get out of it.

    I had to go internal at work (which provides stability, but a huge cash in hand cut from contracting) and now I'm spending my days stuck in political shit which I hate. Add to that, I don't get my dose of city life (London & Amsterdam) which I realise I needed to be happy.

    Look, there's light at the end of the tunnel, and I've really no right to complain, but this simply isn't what I signed up for. Time will tell how 2021 will pan out. I love the UK and I love where we live. But not in Covid times. I happily signed up to the Brexit bullshit, but not this. Yeah, I know nobody did etc etc but we all have to deal with it in our own ways. It'll probably be 6 months till I see my folks again, but that will make it 18 months in total. Dad will have gone from 72 to 73.5 by then and his aging from 70-72 was pretty scary, so I've got to prepare myself for that as well.

    I'm not far from content, but I'm not there.



  • Thanks for the responses fellas, great to hear some perspectives . I'm going to come back to this in a few days. @Catogrande its a good point you make about this probably being the wrong time for these sorts of thoughts, though its kind of unavoidable in that I guess you don't really tend to overthink when things are cruising along



  • Its been a hell of a year, and I'm totally over it. Sounds like first world problems but trips away for business/boys time and family holidays were all taken off the table, plus the stress of lockdown twice. Tolerance for anything is super low, probably only the fern that helps keep me together



  • How long do you need to be under intense pressure before you find out if you're a diamond!!? We had Jnr PB mid-Jan after the wife had been on bedrest in hospital since late Nov. So by the time lockdown started we'd had a pretty torrid time , although the buzz of the new addition was (and continues to be) a huge positive influence.

    Work has been insane all year with a project that had to be ready for late Jan 2021 or it'd be postponed till Jan 2022 - huge investment in that making it over the line and we've had all sorts of other challenges thrown at it this year, let alone the Covid stuff.

    Huge ups and downs for me this year and the bit that has been hardest has been the tiredness and the growing realisation of how unsettled I've actually been. Took me a long time to acknowledge it's absolutely fine to not be feeling ok about things this year.
    There have also been some great things to emerge - better health, our parenting teamwork is on point and we swap in and out depending on our respective level of aggh, and that last few months have actually been really positive.

    Reading the other posts I'm thinking that having young kids at home has been a bit of a blessing, they just force a different perspective on you lol. It's less about what you'd like to do and more about what you need to do. So if you asked me today I'd say I'm pretty content but feeling for those around me that are doing it tougher.



  • @MajorRage said in Happiness Scale:

    We did the lifestyle change 3.5 years ago. I had no regrets until this year, now I'm not so sure.

    Quite a few parallels with what has happened to me in both that post and your elaboration later on.

    I'll tell more when I get some time but these changes are difficult. My father did it at age 50ish due to cancer (he is still around), but mentally he struggled for quite a while.

    I have been to some extremely dark places since I changed everything. Job, country, house. The only thing the same is my wife (and one car) - those are good things!

    Fair to say, not content, but hanging in there and trying to be. I guess a lot of it is mind set, trying to be positive, and it has been an absolute fluffybunny of a year for many people.



  • @Paekakboyz first kid mate? Certainly newborns change your mindset a lot. You have no time to get down, it's all hands to the pump!



  • @canefan second 🙂 to join Ms almost 4. So it wasn't quite as crazy as the arrival of number one, but holy shit I've forgotten what sleep is!



  • @Paekakboyz said in Happiness Scale:

    @canefan second 🙂 to join Ms almost 4. So it wasn't quite as crazy as the arrival of number one, but holy shit I've forgotten what sleep is!

    Second time around you know they are tougher than they look, and you just do what you need to do. At least your eldest is old enough to be semi self sufficient. And being a girl she might show more interest in the newbie than a boy. CF Jnr was 3.5 when Miss CF arrived, didn't realise she was staying over....



  • Many people lost their jobs during covid so I choose my words carefully. My work is slowly beating me into the ground. I have too much work and it's directly the result of COVID. We have had a bumper year. I live in QLD so we have had more freedom than the other 2 major states and indeed much of the world. I work in the construction industry and we had a lot of projects brought forward for fear they would not happen at all. So my stress levels have skyrocketed through having twice as much work as I'm used to. I think I have aged considerably this year. I am horrible at home. My wife says I am distant and quiet. Irritable and impatient. I would usually come home and shoot hoops with Jr for a good hour after work at least 2-3 times a week. I can not remember the last time we did that. I have not been to the gym in at least 7-8 weeks. I come home and I collapse. As @canefan said its first world problems but my inability to decompress, go away with the boys on a golf trip or bugger off to Syndey for some good food, and shopping with the Mrs certainly plays a part. I resisted the urge to up my drinking and god only knows how unbearable I would have become to live with had I hit the bottle.

    But for me, and I know it's odd to say and think this, I never went into lockdown. I have worked all the way through. I have had 2 days working from home in the last year. I have listened to and read a lot of people's comments about isolation. It's been rough, feeling like prisoners in your own home. I feel like the one thing people had during their lockdowns was a time to reflect and to heal. Don't get me wrong I know there were many people who went into depression as a result of lockdown. They lost work as well as their sanity. So please don't think I mean it was some kind of holiday I missed out on. But I firmly believe, especially during those first few months where we were still meeting people on job sites and driving into the office on empty roads, that affected me in a negative way. I have had friends say they came out of lockdown like bears leaving hibernation. There was a relief there. I don't think I have had that easing of the shoulders. A "finally" moment. I feel like I've been holding my breath for months and I'm still waiting for my exhale moment.

    Again I had a job and many others didn't. I understand if people don't get what I'm trying to say, as well.



  • @raznomore totally legitimate mate. Covid19 has impacted all of us in different ways. I have patients who were in essential services and had to work much harder in a difficult environment with little or no break. No one has been spared and your experience is just as valid as any of us



  • @Victor-Meldrew said in Happiness Scale:

    Thing is you can always find stuff to be unhappy about and reduce your happiness scale.

    This. I mean there is no end of things to shit you if you want, and I guess that is part of the evolution of the human brain: look for problems in order to improve your situation. No Sabretoothed Tigers to fight, so what else is an issue?

    Financially, no stresses. We're ticking boxes in terms of income, LVR on our mortgage, likely career paths for kids who are bright enough to get jobs and cynical enough to move jobs. Overseas holidays have become a regular thing since I changed roles a couple of years ago - tho worth noting COVID fucked up my plans for a rugby weekend in NZ and our next jaunt to Fiji, as well as a trip with Miss TA's dance school to California next year.

    Am I content? 🤔

    Depends on the topic, and what day you ask me 🙂

    I'm certainly more content working from home than the office (see @MajorRage 's comment about office politics above), and feel like I'm more productive when I don't have to live up to the smiley-happy bullshit that HR fluffybunnies value above competence. Which I've always found strangely valid, as HR fluffybunnies wouldn't know competence if it bit them on the anus.

    Additionally, I know that I can do excellent work as a specialist whose skills are poorly understood by the majority of my workplace. And in half the time I'd need to "look busy" in front of other people. Any science, sufficiently advanced, looks like magic 😉 I'm (finally) starting to play the game in order to make it look like I do way more than reality, as well, having figured out that you don't get credit for what you do; it is important to broadcast it.

    The major strain under which I operate is my wife's family situation.

    Her mother's dementia drags on
    She's still feeling the loss of her Mum's parents (passed 2015 and 2019).
    Her Dad is a fucking useless alco (tho that is nothing new) who seems to go on like a cockroach.
    Her brother is still going through his divorce shit and Mrs TA is basically the only leaning post all these fuckwits have.
    Her work has also been a significant drain on time during COVID as her boss (whose role she will be taking after the old duck retires in 2 weeks age 70) had to deal with her daughter in the last stages of terminal cancer. And that sucks, but I can't extend my monkeysphere to my wife's boss' issues.

    Safe to say I'm NOT content with being this far down her list of priorities, with this and other things. I'm a sympathetic man and a supportive husband, but there are limits, particularly when there is precisely zero she can do to alter any of those situations.

    When her Mum dies, there will be an inheritance large enough that one of us could stop working - or both of us could take an extended break and then come back to work, risky though that is. I would like to think that is the point where we could get things moving toward what I'd consider an ideal relationship, and some of my anxiety around this bullshit could disappear.



  • @Victor-Meldrew said in Happiness Scale:

    Mrs M's elderly parents' situation is a huge problem at the moment, but we know we'll get thru it.

    Mrs TA working in aged care management was a godsend for us doing her Mum's descent, and eye opening. Knowing how everything fits together will help us plan for our own care, so we're not burdening our kids with that bullshit.

    I am seriously at a point where I despise her Mum for being such a weak fluffybunny.

    We're doing this in our 40s instead of late 50s/60s so in a way that will be good - by the time I hit 50 I'm looking forward to the kids having finished secondary education, her Mum having passed, and her brother's shit sorting itself out.

    Maybe I'll lose 10kg between now and then and keep it off.



  • @raznomore said in Happiness Scale:

    Again I had a job and many others didn't.

    Mate we just let half a dozen people go under a restructure that would have happened with or without COVID. Some of them will do quite well from the redundancy - they'll get to take a break and reassess, before picking up work when things bounce back. Some will take it hard.

    My boss keeps saying in meetings "look at least we've still all got jobs" and I find myself biting my tongue. Losing a job isn't the end of the world, and that is what shits me about my wife killing herself to set high expectations at her work.

    The expectations of others at work are worthless. I don't mind what I do, but I deliberately go at 60% so I've got capacity to go harder if needs be - it also leaves me room to get that "exceeding expectation" rating later on 😉

    Contrast that to the wife who runs herself ragged because she's set a high bar from day 1 and believes she needs to keep going higher.

    A lot of the time, when corporates talk about kaizen they're imagining it wrong.



  • @NTA TBF, losing your will job always suck for the majority of people, especially initially, some react better than others though.

    When I was made redundant years back, it hit me hard, I was earning good coin, had a company car, great bonuses etc, even contemplated heading back to the UK, but after I found a new job, and I thought about it, I realised I was cruising, it was no longer challenging, so was a blessing, but as above, at the time, it was not good!

    FFD to this year, I still dont earn as much as I did back then, but am earning good enough money, our company has hired 3 additional staff this year, 2 started during lockdown, my job is pretty safe!

    But the biggest thing, I work with a great bunch of people, which is the key to any good workplace and healthy work life.

    Personally, wife and I are in a great space, like most couples our age, only thing that gets us on edge is $$$...oh, and a 15 year old boy and 12 year old girl, but for the most part, they are decent human beings, so thats something to be happy about.

    These past few weeks have been tough for Mrs TR with her sister and brother-in-law getting Covid and more so, worrying about her father getting it, but that hasnt happened, but hasn't been great.

    He would usually be coming over for Xmas, so thats a downer.

    For myself, joining the gym a few months ago was the best thing I have done for a long time, absolutely loving it, and seeing the benefit too!

    Always feel so great after smashing some tin, mentally, physically and the boost too my testosterone is great too!

    I think it's all relative, I mean rewind 20/30 years, not sure what 1990/2000 version of me would think of 2020 version, but shit changes, your goals and expectations change.

    So all in all, my wife loves me, she's healthy, kids love me when they need a ride or money and are not despicable humans, I'm healthy and I gotta say, yep, I'm happy...



  • 8/10 I guess. I got a dream job for my union, so that's great, but it involved relocation to Wellington. Except that house prices in Wellington have absolutely skyrocketed since I took the job, so I'm probably stuck flying weekly from Christchurch for the foreseeable.



  • Going good.

    Thanks for listening and sorry for rambling so much.



  • @Snowy said in Happiness Scale:

    I'll tell more when I get some time but these changes are difficult. My father did it at age 50ish due to cancer (he is still around), but mentally he struggled for quite a while.

    The mental side of things is sooo important.

    I had a huge change in my life when I split up with the Ex. Massive, unsettling upheaval with serious, serious stress for about a year. I started a History degree to keep sane and give me something to escape to. Fortunately the business side of things was going OK and, a few months later, I met Mrs Meldrew who had just gone thru something similar and taken the same approach. We both look upon those periods with a sense of achievement with loads of happy times amongst the crappy ones.

    Our lifestyle is pretty good but it's easy to get into a rut and become a vegetable - particularly during lockdown. We're both learning a revived language which is a real mental challenge and that is hugely important for us.



  • @NTA said in Happiness Scale:

    Her mother's dementia drags on

    I can empathise, NTA.

    Horrible, crappy thing to have to deal with at the best of times, worse when you have to isolate for Covid. One of the hardest things Mrs M's & her family are dealing with right now.



  • Great thread.



  • I can’t remember the last time I was truely happy...think I’ve just become resigned to the fact this is my life



  • My life is fucking amazing and I should be waaaaay happier day to day than I actually am

    And even then, I'm not unhappy, I'm frustrated at unimportant shit like my kids not doing what I want when I want.

    But deadset, I have the best fucking life. It's busy, but it's amazing



  • @Kiwiwomble said in Happiness Scale:

    I can’t remember the last time I was truely happy...think I’ve just become resigned to the fact this is my life

    Oh man. That is actually heart breaking to read, and I don't even know you

    Come to North Queensland and relax for a week



  • @mariner4life don’t get me wrong, I don’t think I’m unhappy...I just am

    Kind of, is this everything for the rest of my life?



  • I went through that a while back to be honest.

    Rut stuff. Work was work, and locked in. Wife was now a wife and mother. Rugby was done. I distinctly remember laying awake one night asking myself the very topic of this thread.

    And I took stock, and realised there was nowhere i would rather be.



  • Thats not meant to be advice to you, that's just what I did.

    I got really unhappy with my home life a couple of years back. My best mate told me.to sack up and address it. I did, and it was the best thing I ever did.



  • @mariner4life said in Happiness Scale:

    Thats not meant to be advice to you, that's just what I did.

    I got really unhappy with my home life a couple of years back. My best mate told me.to sack up and address it. I did, and it was the best thing I ever did.

    While noting that I'm still yet to contribute in any meaningful way to a thread I started, can I ask what you actually did to address it? Was it just a virtual uppercut and a change of attitude? Or some tangible changes (a dog and a Kamado Joe?)



  • @voodoo I’m assuming just the presence of baby yoda in the world 🤷🏻♂



  • Nah, the wife's busy season had dragged from the usual 4 months to nearly 6. During said busy season i am damn near a solo parent for a huge amount of it. I was desperately unhappy at home.

    And I told her. I told her the toll it took on me. Which isn't easy when she is the one working all hours. Missing the kids etc. But I did it because that was the first time I ever understood how affairs happen.

    And it was for the better. Changes were made.

    Fuck it took me a bit to suck up the courage to raise it.



  • @mariner4life well done, I bet that took some courage



  • @Kiwiwomble yep. Worth it though. Last couple of years have been way better.

    I learned a lesson that day. Raising shit, no matter how tough, is of massive benefit. The conversation rarely goes the way it does when we run it through our heads 20 times first.



  • @mariner4life said in Happiness Scale:

    Nah, the wife's busy season had dragged from the usual 4 months to nearly 6. During said busy season i am damn near a solo parent for a huge amount of it. I was desperately unhappy at home.
    And I told her. I told her the toll it took on me. Which isn't easy when she is the one working all hours. Missing the kids etc. But I did it because that was the first time I ever understood how affairs happen.
    And it was for the better. Changes were made.
    Fuck it took me a bit to suck up the courage to raise it.

    Going back a couple of years, the wife showed me this article about helping around the house and the positives it has for couples. "Fair enough, I'll take that on board" I said. And I have.

    A while later I showed HER an article in relation to relationships being more equitable e.g. wife initiating a bit more affection (yes, sex, but also other intimate elements) instead of the husband constantly feeling the need and then getting knocked back and feeling like a kicked dog. The story was the same: husbands feeling ignored will end up looking for stimulus elsewhere - emotionally or sexually.

    Anger, tears. "If you don't like it then leave!" and when I said I wasn't about to leave "Fine - if you don't have the balls I'LL leave"

    Long story short it came down to her Mum, and the fact she wasn't dealing with it. Won't get counselling "why pay to cry for an hour?" etc.

    All I can rely on is time, and scraps



  • Not trying to be disrespectful but

    I don't know how you.guys who aren't really happy at home do it. No matter the state of the day, I love coming home.

    I have a couple of mates who cannot say the same, and I just don't know how they do it.



  • @mariner4life think I just don’t have the courage to change anything and I know my life is actually good or at least better than a lot so don’t feel I can really complain



  • I hate that equivalency shit "oh you should be happy, other people have it worse" no fuck that. Male mental health is an issue because of shit like this.

    If some shit in your life isn't working for you, it needs to be addressed. That level of address won't always be the same, nor will the outcome. But, never be hesitant to work on yourself because society likes to tell you it's not a big deal.

    Maybe you need to talk to someone to crystalise your thoughts? I know you year has been really fucked up so I'm not surprised your head is battling



  • I think there is enough happiness with other elements of the home life, to keep me going at this point. Until the old duck kicks it, I'm not in a position to evaluate "normal".


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