But I think that no matter how my circumstances chance, no matter how wonderful my life may, and could be, I cannot change my base-level happiness.
I know this, as I am living my 'dream life'. I live abroad, in a fantastic cheery country, my children are a bit whiny, but otherwise hale and hearty. My husband is my best friend and I love him after all these years. I am finally being a stay at home mum, which is what I yearned to do when I was trying to juggle my job and young children.
Six months of this, and I could categorically say I am no happier than I was when I was stressed at work, not pleasing my husband, and snapping at the children.
You see, other stressed invade the place of the old ones. The new ones involve the illness of family members back at home, the guilt of dragging the children away from their home, the guilt of knowing we will be dragging the children God-knows-where in six months time, the guilt of not contributing money, the guilt of abandoning a hard fought for career. This list goes on.
Perhaps you could say the honeymoon period of the emigree is over. So the bliss of the new for the first six months is over. Perhaps it is biology that keeps our happiness levels at a fixed place, and you have no choice where that place may be.
It is said that happiness is a fleeting thing, not a background emotion. It is slippery to catch and hold onto for long periods.
I have one secret weapon though in the search for happiness. There is a pond near our house where we go 'frogging' most evenings. Hearing the squeal of my daughter as she picks up a particularly juicy big frog and the fruity Sid James laugh of my son as the frog indignantly plops back into the pond is like an injection of sheer happiness.