I feel happy and content these days -- in many ways, I feel that I'm happier recently than I've ever been in my life -- but at the same time, I notice that I have a much shorter fuse than I used to. I'm far less tolerant of other people, much more protective of my own space.
Am I happier because I am more protective and am watching out more for myself?
Am I deceiving myself that I am happier?
Does it make a difference that my current happiness is grounded in myself and is not tied to anybody else? Does that make it stronger or more shallow? Or is it not that simple?
So many questions, so few answers.
I do feel a slight twinge of guilt when I put someone else off to make space for myself or to do what I feel is right for me, but it passes quickly. Several years ago, in the same situation, I would have tormented myself. Ultimately I would have turned around and done whatever I felt necessary to best please the other person, regardless of what I wanted or what might best please me.
This is not to say that I am indifferent to others or that my outlook has become entirely egocentric. There is a much stronger balance now, though, than there used to be. I now take myself into consideration. I have come to accept that I cannot make everyone happy, that I cannot "fix" people, and that I will only make myself miserable if I let doing so become my primary objective. I need to be true to myself and be good to myself when determining priorities, and I have started doing so with more frequency.
This means that I make others unhappy sometimes. I'm not sure I'm crazy about that. But generally, I feel good about where I am and the choices I am making. Life is good.