When does it mean that we’re happy with the discomfort?
To that end, I was thinking about this yesterday.
Is the goal to always be comfortable? Does comfort mean happiness? Or even further, is happiness achieved when the value perception supersedes the cost perception? By a significant margin?
I think about the fact that I absolutely do not take cabs of any sort in the city. That includes Lyft or Uber. The highest level belief is that I believe that it adds to the congestion on the roads and that the fares are outrageous. Other reasons include that it’s highly unlikely that I’ll ever feel incapacitated that I need someone to drive me and that I rarely feel unsafe in the areas that I frequent. Furthermore, I believe that careful planning will eliminate any need for cabs, because isn’t the reason that many take cabs is due to laziness, time prioritization, and energy. Then there’s the financial cost: I already pay insurance for my car every 6 months, pay for a garage spot, own multiple bikes, and have a clipper card for public transit. Yet why would I take it?
There are a few cases: business is paying for it (because simply put, I realize that cabs do minimize the time that it takes from point A to point B), when I am absolutely lost (only in foreign cities), when I am absolutely tired (this happened only once late night in New York City at least 10 years ago), and when the requests of friends supersedes my own.
It’s the latter reason that drives me crazy. Because every single minute that I spend in the cab is a feeling that I am wasting money. But then the friendship matters to me, so I have to bury the resentment deep inside me. I’ll voice my concern yes, but guilt sets in. How can I ask a friend to feel unsafe for a walk that is over a mile long? How can I ask a friend to walk in three-inch heels? The only way to leave this is to depart quickly before anyone says anything so that the reasoning is gone. Or better yet, I’ll drive there so that I am the cabbie that am paid in friendship rather than cash.
There’s still discomfort in all of this. It’s the boundaries that I set. And no matter how any of those methods to eliminate waste, it’s all an effort to decrease the burdens that we carry everyday on our shoulders. But the hardest part of this—especially as it pertains to cleaning the things you own—is the discomfort that remains.
I have cleared our my clothes. But the problem is, that doing so, I got rid of many of my sweaters. And now I am freezing. But there’s a problem: I have rules set in place not to buy clothing at all unless it is incredibly below market value at a local store, handed to me, or most frequently, that I decided to purchase it abroad. What’s more is that I don’t like many sweater designs. There’s this belief that I will make it work if I really want it to work. And so I stood accused of being happy with discomfort. Is that really the case when I sit at my desk and am frozen like an icicle because I don’t like the heater being turned on at all? Because the latter is in itself a waste of fossil fuel? That the greatest relief I have is to visit a place where I know consciously that I am not paying for anything at all.
I am most happy when there’s no judgement on how we should or should not live.