Monday, March 01, 2010

happiness vs. sadness

Reading the Sunday New York Times, I read these two articles back-to-back: On Top of the Happiness Racket, by Jan Hoffman, and Depression’s Upside, by Jonah Lehrer. The juxtaposition interests me.

The first article is a profile of Gretchen Rubin, a wealthy and published New York author and mother (my snarky thought: sure, I could stay on top of everything is I was wealthy, lived in an NYC triplex, had a sitter for my kids and a housekeeper to clean my house -- but, still, I might not be happy). Hoffman also gives some review of Rubin's book, The Happiness Project. Supposedly, we can expect a slew of books about how to be happy this spring. Why do I find this annoying?

The second article presents a study that suggests some depression--shorter-term depression, not debilitation long-term depression--can help the sufferer focus on the problem and solve it. Charles Darwin is the lead-in example here. And the idea that depressed people are the creative ones is also addressed. I found this new take on no pain, no gain interesting, if limited.

The second was much less annoying that the first.

Somewhat indirectly, both articles remind me that I have two--yes, two--appointments with psychologists today. One is for me (yeah, so?). The other is to discuss Iz, my 5 1/2 year old, who is an anxious and creative little guy. Fun, fun, fun.

Happiness, anyone?

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