Lucky Lucky you, my two official readers... I have found a website with plenty of Top Ten Lists specifically targeted at men. What does that mean? It means I am linking it up, listing them here and then commenting myself. Oh boy, is this going to kill my buzz or what?!
Top Ten Things that Make Men Happy (List in black, my comments in pink - for Breast Cancer Awareness Month, of course):
10. Being Top Dog - "All of us want to be rich, but that's not really the key to happiness. The key is to be richer than everybody else we know." Here's the deal. While being richer than everyone else in one way or another makes us feel happy, how long does that happiness last? As long as it takes for your friends and coworkers to think you're a pompous asshole. Learning to be the Top Dog but keep your mouth shut about it might make it better, but really, what's the point of working that hard to get there if you can't shout it from the rooftops?
9. Sex - "Men enjoy sex slightly more than women, and sex brings more happiness to the highly educated than to the less-educated. Overall, their results suggest that sex makes people happy. Either that or happier people just have more sex. They are likely both perfectly valid statements." Woah? Sex makes men happy?! THAT'S what I've been doing wrong all these years!!! Ok, sarcasm aside, I have a hard time accepting the concept that sex is enjoyed more by men than women. I get the physical connotations, and in reality, that might be right, but the emotional enjoyment I don't think fits that claim. What I'm getting from this part of the article is that if I want to enjoy sex as much as my male counterpart, I need to make sure I'm significantly more educated than he. Oh silly silly researchers...
8. Being Young and Being Old - "...holding other factors constant, our happiness typically starts off high when we're young. It then takes a gradual drop as we age, reaching a minimum when we're around our mid-40s before rising again. ...Social scientists refer to this as the non-linear relationship between age and subjective well-being. We typically call it the midlife crisis." I have no witty comment for this one. I will say that I agree with this. We all make the statement that we were happier as children. I don't know that I'll claim to be that happy as an elderly woman, but I can forsee a time when my children and grandchildren make me happier than I am at 25. Here's hoping. (editor note: I am a genuinely happy person, so don't take the last sentence to mean I am looking forward to one day being happy. No need for suicide watch.)
7. Living Close to Work - "According to Swiss economists, the time that we spend commuting to and from work causes more stress than we can possibly imagine." I've lived close to work and I've lived far from work. First, let it be known that "close" and "far" are relative terms. What I consider close and what you consider close are very different. I live 5 miles from work. This is what I consider close. My work is 15 minutes away and if I give myself 20-30 minutes to get there, traffic is not a concern. I also get to sleep later than people who work an hour from their home. I do not, however, think it is impossible to imagine the stress that I am avoiding. I think I assess it quite well.
6. Marriage - "It has now been proved beyond a reasonable doubt that tying the knot is good for us. It should, nevertheless, be known that most of this happiness hit normally comes within the first year of being married." Now THIS requires some bitching. It worries me when men get married because they think it will make them happy and this list only pushes that idea further. I know too many men who are unhappy in marriage because they were so happy when they got married and that feeling slowly went away. I've heard the following saying a million times, so it bears repeating: YOU WILL NEVER BE AS HAPPY IN YOUR RELATIONSHIP AS YOU WERE WHEN IT FIRST BEGAN. Relationships (and by definition, marriage) takes ongoing work and effort and if you're not going to be happy putting in the time, DON'T DO IT! I wish this said "Working on your marriage." Then my bitching would be for naught.
5. Volunteering - "To be able to help others, or to feel at one with the community, has been shown to associate positively with a happier life." YES! YES! YES! And, from a woman's perspective, very few things are sexier than a man who thinks about the wellbeing of others. Maybe salt and pepper hair...or being able to cook us a dynamite meal without us knowing...
4. Being in a Job You Love, Regardless of the Pay - "...being in a job you love can produce, at frequent intervals, a state of consciousness called flow, which is a form of concentration so focused that it amounts to absolute absorption in an activity. And when we're in this state, it's common for us to feel strong, alert, effortlessly in control and deeply satisfied with ourselves." Dear #4, you are contridicting #10, but fully supporting my hypothesis. Thank you. We've all been there. We've had a job just to make money...we've had a job we loved but couldn't continue at because of the lack of money. There is a strange dichotomy there. On the one hand, we want the happy job we'd do even if it meant we lived in a cardboard box; on the other hand, we don't want to live in a cardboard box. Truth, you can hate your high-paying job and realize the money isn't worth staying. You can't hate the low pay enough to quit your low-paying job. Maybe not can't, but rarely will. It's the dream, baby...live the dream.
3. A Happy Partner - "...we would become 8% happier withour life if our co-resident partner became happier with his or her life." This would be a wonderful statistic to put in a "stop physically and emotionally abusing your partner" pamphlet. Even in relationships where one person breaks trust over and over and the partner takes them back because they love them or whatever dumb reason they have. This should be stapled to their forehead. Your partner cannot MAKE YOU HAPPY, but your happy partner will make you HAPPIER.
2. Good Health - "Having a healthy mind and body contributes a great deal to a happy life, and the lack of it can cause us great misery." READ THIS This is one of those articles that begs you read the entire thing. It's just interesting. There's no snippy comments from me on this one, but you should read this article. It explains how patients who are recovering in a program with other patients tend to heal quicker than those recovering alone. My psych major mind is racing and wants to learn all about this RIGHT NOW. Anyone know where I can take some classes on this?
1. Friends - "$300,000. That's how much seeing friends every day is worth in terms of happiness for an average person...mainly because time spent with friends is the kind of activity that produces a constant and large flow of serotonin, one of the two hormones responsible for making us happy." Well that is a LOT of money. I'm assuming that's over a lifetime, not yearly. I love this point. I also love that it's #1. No man is an island. You can probably survive in a life with no friends, but you aren't going to enjoy it. I'm sure it leads to all kinds of mental issues. Friends ground you. They equalize you. I, personally, have to have a TON of friends so that my crazy, overthinking brain chills the hell out every once in a while. Just for a minute, imagine your life sans-amies. Sucks, don't it?