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Happening upon happiness December 1, 2006

Posted by BiB in Uncategorized.

It’s all conflicts of interest at Château BiB at the moment. All black and white. And twains never meeting. But not conflicts of interest in a nasty, underhand sense. Just interests and desires diverging diametrically.

I wish the Russian would hurry up and catch up with me in age. He’s still wanting to explore, discover, experience. Whereas I’m as stale as a pint of gold-top that’s been left on a sunlit doorstep for days on end. The Russian wants to climb mountains, discover new continents, try new narcotics. Whereas I would happily have a Stannah stairlift connecting me from my current perch leading right down to the pavement where a chauffeur-driven motorised wheelchair would be waiting.

J’exagère, of course, and I don’t want my staleness to have folk reaching for pills/knives/the off button. Because I mean it to be the opposite. Perhaps it’s gloom disguising itself as something else, or me pulling the wool over my own eyes, but I can’t help feeling sometimes I’ve stumbled across something called contentedness. The ingredients for which recipe should have me being carted off to the nearest loony bin. Because, as I see it, contentedness à la BiB, in 2006, is being skint, detesting my job, living in a country where I have the language skills of a retarded toddler, and a boyfriend who’d rather I was someone else. But life seems fine, in an odd way.

I’m not sure what the moral of this non-story is. Trial and error? Striking lucky? Low expectations? Age? Being mad? But I just cannot force myself to want the things I’m meant to want. I have nothing against money, by any means, but if doing my ludicrous job provides me with enough to scrape by in relative comfort, then I’d sooner have that than no sleep and working my nuts off. It does also mean no car – I can’t drive anyway, but, actually, Annie’s getting me one for Christmas – and no weekends in Honolulu and no rent-boys smeared in caviar, but I can heroically do without.

Anyway, it’s only the today me writing. Perhaps because it’s a lovely day. And perhaps because I’ve managed to convince the Russian that he needs to hurry up and get old. (Actually, he’s making a special effort and is having a birthday soon. He declared earlier, “You can buy me either a trip somewhere or a new bookcase for my birthday.” I was on the IKEA website before you could say, “Not another fucking flight.”) Tomorrow it’ll be all gloom, suicide threats and lamenting my tragic fate.



1. Ed Ward - December 1, 2006

“Tomorrow it’ll be all gloom, suicide threats and lamenting my tragic fate.”

Of course it will: in three weeks the photoperiod reaches its nadir, and you’re smack in the middle of another depressing Berlin winter. It’s long been proven that lack of daylight leads to depression, which is why doctors here can prescribe you sessions at the light-box in one of those Braunungsalons that seem to be everywhere. Yet another reason to move further south.

And no, I don’t mean Bavaria.

2. Arabella - December 1, 2006

I think age does have something to do with it. With each year that I age I find it easier to be happy.

3. MountPenguin - December 1, 2006

As a matter of gossipy interest, how many years lie between you and the Russian, if I may be so bold?

4. Marsha Klein - December 1, 2006

I think it’s possible to spend years striving for happiness, only to find that what we actually want (and need) is contentedness. Being contented isn’t somehow settling for second-best, it’s like the difference between loving someone and being “in-love” with them – the latter is a wonderful, exhilirating but, necessarily, relatively brief state, whereas loving someone, if you’re lucky, can last a lifetime. All this sounds very mature and settled, but I’d say, judging by the content of your recent posts, you’ve got the balance about right.

5. BiB - December 2, 2006

Fuck, just answered you all individually and it was lost. Will try again when I get my spirits back up…

6. pleite - December 2, 2006

OK, another go.

Ed, when I’m in a paaaaaasitive frame of mind, which is, admittedly, not often, I slightly rejoice at December 21st because it means the days are getting longer again. And at least it isn’t November. But the Russian and I did discuss whether it was realistic to move – today – to either Thailand or Australia.

Arabella, that’s Ed, above you, whom I failed to link to at your place, who’s the Austin expert, if you need any insider tips… I’m with you on age. Absolutely. I’d rather mangle my testicles, twice, than be 19 again.

Penguin, only 5, which seems like nothing. I was 8 years younger than my ex, and we didn’t seem to notice that, except when I would suggest going out to somewhere not-restauranty but late-night-and-noisy-and-pop-musicky.

Marsha, couldn’t agree more. I should have dispensed with the word happiness in the post altogether. Contentedness is where it’s at, and as long as I don’t let my contentedness-variables fluctuate too wildly – as the pound did in the ERM whenever it was – and keep them within the boundaries of the reasonable, then contentedness is what I’ll be aiming for.

7. Blonde at Heart - December 3, 2006

Is everything alright at the BiB household? Or is it the approaching Christmas that brought on this gloominess?

8. MountPenguin - December 4, 2006

I’ve been following recent happenings in the Thai visa scene with a certain interest, and it looks like they are cracking down on what one could call “casual” immigraton, i.e. a halfway legal longterm residence status is no longer the cakewalk it once was. On the other hand I get the impression from friends and family that Australia is currently actively seeking to attract a greater proportion of pale-skinned immigrants, and has the undoubtable advantage of a language somewhat similar to English.

Failing that there is always Baden-Württemberg, which has the advantage of being in the south without actually being Bavaria, and always seems to have the highest temperatures on the Tagesschau’s weather charts.

And don’t forget it’s only 20 odd shopping days to Christmas, this year enhanced by round-the-clock shopping opportunities (OK, not quite, but I remember when shops closed on Saturdays at 2pm, so it seems like that to me), so really no reason for doom and gloom, even though VAT is going up by 3 percentage points in 2007.

9. pleite - December 4, 2006

BaH, winter certainly has a lot to answer for. But I’m happily gloomy, or gloomily happy. Which is maybe perverse, or maybe I need to market it somehow. “Enjoy your gloom! Throw those pills away!” I know one shrink and she told me about a colleague of hers who suffers badly from depression and she said she couldn’t believe it when he was describing an aspect of it that he LIKED and ENJOYED. Maybe I should strive for more happiness, but, at certain levels, I’m already content with (lots of) my lot.

Penguin, I have a bro in NZ and he could invite me to live there, as an NZer himself. But I’m a bit bored of moving, having already done it 700 times. I want to just spin a nice warm cobweb around myself and hover here till kingdom come. So spake contented BiB.

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