Happiness isn’t something you experience; it’s something you remember.

Oscar Levant

Is Mr Levant right? Can you feel happy in memory only?

Our return to Australia at the end of this year is looming. The logistics of sorting, packing, selling, downsizing and moving countries again with no fixed future address feels like trying to stay afloat in an ocean of dread with a 50kg weight tied to my waist. It’s oppressive.

Trying to coordinate shipping our stuff without securing a place to ship it to is a logistical nightmare. Having been through the trauma of moving countries once before, I will not underestimate the mental load this time.

But we’re not moving for about another 6 months. That means we have another 6 months of life in Korea to enjoy all the things I love about living here.

We’ve created, what I’m going to look back on with hindsight, a perfect life.

Is happiness something we experience now or remember
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I’m living the life I used to dream of where there are no alarm clocks and days gently unfold. Back in the Monsta’s early life, sleep was elusive and out of my control. Now it’s solid and I grateful for every uninterrupted sleep I am granted. To not be a slave to a toddler or an alarm clock was something I aspired to. Now I have it. I wake up and get up when I want.

I used to hate my commute to and from my corporate office. It sucked 10 hours out of my life each week. The weather, traffic and disrupted train services impacted me. Now my commute is all of 3 seconds from the kitchen to my office.

I hated wearing corporate clothes and despised corporate shoes even more. Now I wear leggings, a t-shirt and mostly go barefoot.

I used to carry the mental load of much of our household’s admin and do all the grocery shopping and cooking. But now I’m living a life in which my mental load outside my work is so minimal I don’t notice it – I am mostly illiterate here, so my husband has to take care of all the household and childcare admin. I do very few household chores. No cooking, cleaning, bill paying or shopping. There are no demands on my time after hours.

I have been gifted wonderful mental space in which to thrive and create.

I’m not telling you these things to brag about my fabbo life.

No, here’s the thing.

I’ve been so focused on losing all this when we move back to Australia that I’m failing to enjoy what we have now.

I remember someone telling me a long time ago that happiness is something we remember, not experience at the time. And I know that one day I will look back at this time in Korea as some of the best and happiest days of my life. Truly.

But I don’t want to be happy in memory only. I want to be happy now, in the moment.

I’ve made a conscious choice to put aside the logistical tangle we face in December and be grateful every day for the life we’ve created.

What do you think? Is happiness something that lives only in our memory or can you enjoy it? Let me know in the comments below.


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