As the researchers have found, in order to feel happy we need to know what we want and to feel we are progressing towards that goal. So there are two ways to be unhappy - not to move towards a goal or not to know what we want.
I have to say, I more or less know what I want. However, I've often thought that hard work makes me less happy than rest and relaxation. I must have been quite wrong, and today was a perfect proof of that.
The things I consider my goals are getting thin, rich and fulfilled. The fulfillment goal is kind of vague and hazy, it varies a lot and can depend on many things. Sometimes gardening makes me feel fulfilled, sometimes it's meeting people or doing other things I love. This day, however, was spent on quite mundane tasks, since it was cold and raining outside. I sewed some buttons and hooks, and mended some torn clothes. I replanted a whole lot of tiny lobelia and petunia seedlings, dealt with the dishes and kids, and so on. The only thing even remotely brave and exciting was pruning my poor oleander that was completely out of control. I had been afraid to prune it for months, since it had the new growth which would bloom in summer. But it looked so spindly and weak, and covered in mealybugs that I decided to go against all advice and prune it in spring, not in September after blooming. Here's the "after" picture. I have to say, sorry and pathetic though it looks, it's much much better than before.
That is not my idea of excitement, though, and I didn't do any money work, either.
I'm wasting my time before going to bed now, and I know how I could still make this day exciting in the last hour that's left of it. I have a children's book in the making that's just begging for the second chapter, but for some reason it's been more than 9 months since I wrote the first chapter. I haven't been able to get down to writing because it's so exciting to write that it's utterly overwhelming.
Or I could just go and wash my hair, and deem this day completely unexciting, if not just downright boring.
Excitement: 2, Boredom: 1.