Cheering people up is a grim business

CHEER up mate, it might never happen!" I reassured my glum chum. She smiled wanly, "I've really got the 'blahs' today, I'll feel better once I've had a good cry."

I replayed her statement in my head then asked, "Sorry, you'll feel better after bawling your eyes out?"

"Yep," she replied. "Sometimes I just feel like listening to a sad song then having a little cry, and afterwards I'm usually much happier. It's like hitting my emotional reset button."

"Um, can't you just cheer yourself up by thinking positive thoughts?"

"Sometimes. But you can't be happy all the time, can you?"

Apparently not.

After some thought, I realised that throughout an average day I can swing between being happy, angry, bored, excited, confused or busy. But most of the time, I'm distracted.

While my body toils merrily away, my mind is skipping over fields, replaying a memory, wrestling with next week's column, having imaginary conversations or pondering life's big questions, e.g.: why is my bread often sliced unevenly?

It dawned on me that it's impossible for anyone to be happy all the time. Seriously, you can't spend every waking minute trying to maintain a permanent state of eye-popping ecstasy. Plus you'll be certain to attract the sort of people who aren't happy until they've made everyone else around them completely miserable.

So why try? Why not acknowledge that sometimes you just don't feel like being happy? It doesn't mean you're completely unhappy, does it?

Anyway, speaking of misery, I shared a cracker of a joke with my friend which made her giggle, but before I could follow it up with the next rib tickler she snapped, "Look, why can't you just let me enjoy being sad?"

Well, you just can't help some people. Honestly, it's enough to make you weep.

Greg Bray blogs at Find him on Facebook: Greg Bray - Writer.