The price of happiness

The treadmill slows to a stop. My overworked body just collapses onto the couch, seeking a needed respite from motion. But despite the welcome (however temporary it may be) relief from the pain of gravity’s unrelenting barrage on my wear bones and muscles, I find myself immediately back on my feet.

A familiar and fun song pipes through the speakers of our 1994 stereo system. A song that reminds me of dancing with my son when he was younger. I can’t help it. I have to dance. And I feel free. True happiness. I’m doing what I love. One of my passions.

One song turns into another, and my body keeps going. And then another. And another. I don’t find my self actually happy very often, unfortunately. So I just can’t bring myself to stop yet. My back is beginning to nag at me, reminding me of how much I already worked out just moments ago on the treadmill. But I dance on. “Just a few minutes longer,” I answer back to my pain.

Eventually, the time comes to bring my body to a stop. To end what makes me feel alive and smile in my soul. Minute by passing minute, a stiffness creeps in. Subtle at first but a warning of what is soon to follow. Stiffness turns to pain. Pain turns into…worsening pain. And that’s my fate for the rest of the day. Maybe the next. Ache. Suffering. Torment. More fierce than the familiar agony.

And so comes the price of happiness. My joy causes my misery. It’s just…mean. Why does a simple pleasure have to come at so high a cost? It sounds too simple to say “it’s not fair.” But it’s not. I want to be able to do what I love. But I can’t. Not without consequence. And unfortunately, that consequence, that pain, is the thief of future joy. “Not unless you want to hurt all day long,” it whispers in my ear, sending a meloncholy chill down my spine. And snuffing out any fire to dance again.

Until a really good song comes on 🙂

3 thoughts on “The price of happiness

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