feminism / living / women / work

Study Says: Women Are Unhappy, Am I?

She looks happy. I should linger in fields with apples more...

Apparently I needed another week of sleep. Well, sort of, I’ve been pretty darn busy, actually.

In the meantime there’s been more depressing news for women over on Huffington Post.

Last week I read a post about Erica Jong’s declaration that young women are over sex.

And this week I read that women have become less happy over the last forty years. Yup, despite having more education, money, and power, women are less psyched. The news deserved a moment’s pause. During which, of course, I pondered whether or not I’m happy. Always a productive use of one’s time…

I’m not entirely sure how much stock to put into these findings. But nonetheless, if women are indeed less happy overall, my first guess for why would be because we have more to worry about. Acquiring all of that education, coin, and leverage makes for a busy life. Especially if you’re trying to raise kids at the same time. Maybe you’re raising kids and juggling a divorce while deciding which pumps to wear to your 10am. All of this equality can be a bum deal for women sometimes. We want to do it all, but it comes at a cost. The word frazzled comes to mind. But I also think a lot comes down to expectations.

Something in common between my two grandmothers is that they both had pretty low expectations. By that I mean, they anticipated life would be difficult. And it was. They expected to lose people to war and sickness. And did. But I think it’s possible that they savored the good times even more because they’d read the memo—life is challenging and ends unpredictably. So work hard and then go spend a couple weeks of summer drinking beer on your boat.

But maybe I’m just being nostalgic for simpler times. Sucks to be stuck on the houseboat if you don’t like being a housewife. I think women are happy with what we’ve achieved. But maybe we’re too frantic with the day’s requirements to answer: “I am very happy.” I certainly have to remind myself while I’m setting my next goal that life is good.

Right now.

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