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Thursday, June 28, 2007

On Children and Happiness

I just heard Daniel Gilbert, author of Stumbling on Happiness interviewed by Stephen Colbert. The interview itself was highly amusing, as is most anything done by Colbert, but I also learned a fact that reinforced what I had inherently known since my own childhood.

Children do not make you a happier person. In fact, they have a slightly negative effect on your happiness.

This is a huge shot on the arm for someone who has known, well, forever, that they don't want kids. It also provides some factual basis for responses to people who are shocked and appalled by my lack of self-replication. And indeed it does provide some comfort, as many of my friends have been happily procreating for years - but apparently they have actually been unhappily procreating for years. I admit I sometimes wondered. To my friends (and you know who you are) who have joined me on this child-free journey of life, affirmation and glee. To my friends who have gone down the road of procreation and self-denial, told you so.

A bit harsh? Perhaps. But there is nothing so frustrating as a smug parent looking at you and you know they're thinking, "Shame. She would have been so much happier if she'd had kids."

No I wouldn't, and now I have the science to back it up.

Ain't life (without kids) grand.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Pro Bono Madness

I run my own business. I love running my own business and being my own boss, but lately, a funny thing has been happening. My pro bono hours are far outstripping my billable hours. Now, I work mainly with non-profits, so in some ways, some volunteer work is expected. But it has been out of control over the past month. And I made a conscious decision to just be on one Board at a time. But this one Board is taking over my life right now.

I am pretty good at saying 'No'. I have said it many times in my life (both business and socially) and have no qualms with it. I am simply not a "yes" girl. So this has been vexing me. I don't actually feel I'm a very good volunteer because of it. Grump, grump, grump. Shouldn't our volunteer work bring us pleasure?

Balance is a wonderful thing. I must go on a hunt for it. I know I put it around here somewhere...