When you feel bad that nothing bad is happening to you

Seems like I’m not the only one out there.

When things get busy, I tend to make lists.  Be it on a Post-It, notepad documents, or on Notes on my phone, when there are a lot of things to do, I make lists.  Because one, it keeps me organized and remembering all of the things that I need to do, and two, it feels really nice and accomplishing when you’re able to cross things off, highlight and clear lines of text, or delete a Note.  It makes me feel happy when I knock things off a list and feel a sense of accomplishment.

With Christmas looming, I made a list of things that I needed to do on my car, prior to the holiday.  The oil was long overdue, subsequently the air filter was gross and needed replacement, and my car’s at the age where all the bulbs seem to be burning out one after another.  Pretty much in one 24-hour span, I’ve gotten the oil changed, the air filter changed (myself, saving $20 in exorbitant “labor”), and replaced three burnt-out light bulbs.  For all intents and purposes, I feel very studious and accomplished at my productivity, and should worry less about driving my car anywhere for the next few months.

In fact, on the overall list of things that I needed to do before Christmas, I’ve systematically completed almost 90% of the things originally listed.  “Bathe dog” and “finish X” are the last things left that I’m aware of.  I do feel accomplished, and pretty good that the remaining things are manageable and well within sight.

But I’m not really that happy right now.  I probably could be happy, given the fact that it’s the holiday season, things for me personally are going pretty decently, minus a little bit of disgruntled feeling with work, but such could be said about just about anyone.  My Christmas shopping is all but complete, everything’s wrapped, plans are made, and I’ve been productive and accomplishing the last few weeks.  I have plenty of reason why I could be happy, but I just am not feeling it.

It’s mostly because that around me, in my little world, there are several people who are going through some really rough times lately.  Naturally, I will not get into specifics, but lately, it’s hard to feel a little apprehensive whenever I hear my phone go off, because I’m worried that there will be a text message with bad news, or saying “hello?” might be greeted by voices that have obviously been shedding recent tears.

It’s hard to truly feel happy when to people like me, happiness is often predicated on the happiness and well-being of others.  I’m not sure if this normal, or if this just human nature for empathetic people like me, but it kind of stinks that there are people around me that are having some rough times, and I feel helpless and powerless to be able to help any of them.

I’m not saying that I’m resentful for people for not being happier, for the sake of my own happiness, but I guess I’m just hoping that better news comes to all people I’m thinking about, because then maybe we can all be happy together if and when it hopefully comes.

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