Is it okay to be happy?

I believe there’s a tradition among the upper middle class in the UK and the USA to send out a ‘brag letter’ at the end of the year or at Christmastime. This isn’t something we do in Australia as far as I know. Maybe in the upper-middle class they do but I’ve never been part of that world.

I think sending out a letter like that would be frowned-upon in Australia. We’re the land of mowing down the tall poppies.

Does anyone still do this? Now that we’ve got Facebook, and let’s face it, it’s the go-to platform for anyone over 40 and what’s left of the middle class, everyone can put up their brags anytime they like. I mean who’s going to spend the time and money it takes to write/print/send letters out? I don’t even send Christmas cards anymore.

You know what the opposite of a brag letter is? It’s a scroller. You know, one of those text messages that might as well be an essay. I don’t think anything good can come from a scroller. I’ve had the occasional scroller. One even resulted in me dropping my phone on the bitumen. Hubby got a scroller from a family member this week.

It was like that time Ron Weasley got a howler from his mum.

This particular scroller was full of doom and gloom about the person’s life. It was a stinker. Hubby hadn’t done anything wrong, he was just the sounding board. Which is what family is for, right?

Hubby didn’t know how to respond in text, so he rang the person to see if they were okay. They were quite surprised to hear from him and said, ‘oh yeah, it’s all sorted.’

Way to spread the cheer! I saw a post on social media somewhere recently that said something like “What if the best way to show our love is to learn to regulate our emotions.”

No where on the excellent graphic from Very Well Mind does it say “Pick up you phone and post a rant.”

It’s good to have a vent, it’s so very good to have someone to lend a caring ear and a shoulder to cry on. Yes, we should be able to talk through our pain with a trusted loved-one. But can we draw the line a broadcasting a spray about the ineptitude of the local hospital to sundry family members?

Okay so you might not have a therapist but the others are all free. You know what’s a million times better than posting a rant online? Writing all the feels in a journal then burning that shit like medical waste.

Integral Theory calls this process Growing Up, an apt name.

I wondered what the response would have been if hubby had responded to his family member with a scroller of his own, detailing how wonderful his own day was going (It was his birthday, which the sender had obviously forgotten.)

If I think back to the worst days I’ve had. My tiny son in the hospital with bacterial meningitis, the day my first husband died, the day of his funeral and many of the days following, losing my cat Bailey. You know, those gut-punch days.

Surprisingly ,the world didn’t stop on those days and someone, somewhere, was no doubt having the best day of their life. I’ve had many ‘best days’ since those awful ones and it’s statistically plausible that someone was having a shocker.

What good does it do?

Social media cops a lot of flack, but at least on fb or insta it’s okay to have a bit of a brag when things are going well. I know some people take it a bit far with all their “hashtag blessed” carry on but can we please normalise every day joy, happiness for no good reason?