Too much of a good thing? – MFA in creative writing T-minus 5 weeks

There may be something to the “upper limit problem” theory. The idea that if you aren’t used to or comfortable with a lot of happiness, you naturally curb it to stay in a comfort zone.

I remember reading a post of a cousin of mine that was going on about how great her trip was, and I knew there was no way it was going to end well. This woman dwelled in, talked about, and ruminated deeply on the troubles of herself and others in all her communications. If there was trouble, she’d respond  or post immediately. If things were great – silence. And sure enough, last few sentences of the post were about how her luggage and ID were stolen and blah blah blah – troubles.

I look for these patterns in myself and try to see them non-judgmentally, like looking at geometric shapes on a paper, and think of how to shift them, paint them differently. Shift that feeling when I am having a blissful moment, that I know later that night I will crash. Like when I am whirling around the dance floor, experiencing a Waltz, Texas style, for the first time. A smooth floating feeling I have never experienced before, with a nice tall good looking man my age I have never met before. As heavenly as it gets. Now I don’t worry about knowing I will crash later, I just enjoy the bliss. And when I do crash later, I think of it more as an ottoman I repeatedly trip over. Like Dick Van Dyke in the title sequence of his TV show. Will I feel icky later? Yes. Will I come back and dance a Texas Waltz again and float around the room like a fairy’s wings are on my feet? Yes.

I’m just looking for the top of the bell curve to rise gradually, and for the troughs to go by more quickly, these days. Getting used to the moments at the top, day by day.

honey overboard

Too much of a good thing?


2 responses to “Too much of a good thing? – MFA in creative writing T-minus 5 weeks

  1. I heard we all have a “set point” of happiness, kind of like our own internal barometer. If we go too high or too low, we’ll naturally bring ourselves back to our comfort zone. The problem is, when are set point is naturally is low, we feel uneasy when things go well and either sabotage ourselves or simply don’t enjoy the high because we are dreading the impending low that is bound to come. I like your idea of just enjoying the highs while we have them and just moving through the lows, knowing another high is just around the corner.

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