Wednesday, November 11, 2009
Jumping off the hedonistic treadmill
I really like this entry from Slate's Happiness Project. In it, the author talks about how, after getting a case of conjunctivitis, she had to stop wearing contact lenses. And it was only through this experience that she realized how happy she was to have the convenience of contact lenses -- which, without this deprivation, she took for granted and even sometimes complained about, given how much of a pain it was to put them in and take them out.
The problem is that becoming accustomed to all of our conveniences and privileges creates a "hedonistic treadmill", in which we continue on at a steady pace without appreciating what we have.
Having a fluctuating hearing loss is often frustrating, bothersome, and difficult, but there's this thing: when it bounces back up from its low dips, I get insanely happy. Having five senses that work! Being able to meet new and interesting people! The world is my oyster. Somehow, having this hearing loss has allowed me to jump off the hedonistic treadmill.