I always knew I was average…

Okay, my electoral epic has now finished, and I’m back at the ol’ Radar ranch commenting on whatever stories randomly interest me. And what better to write about for my first time back than myself? Or rather, people like myself. Because a new survey has found that Australians are, on average, “fat, satisfied workaholics”, according to one article on the website today. Well, if the shoe fits…. (And the skintight t-shirt doesn’t…)

63% of Australians are now “satisfied” or “very satisfied” with their lives. Relaxed and comfortable, even, perhaps. Which I think is just lovely. Good on us all. And even though many of us are stressed and working long hours, 77% of people say they don’t want to cut back their hours. What are we, zen masters or something?

Or are we like that irritatingly smug French Buddhist monk Matthieu Ricard (see the article in Good Weekend on Saturday) who was scientically proven to be one of the happiest men on the planet and wrote a book about how we can be more like him?

A notion I immediately rejected, personally, after reading he’s been celibate for decades. I’ve done more than my fair share of celibacy over the years and I’ve got to tell you, it wasn’t exactly compatible with overwhelming happiness.

You can see how “fat” and “workaholic” might be fairly closely linked, of course. We’re happy to throw ourselves wholeheartedly into work, but the gym’s another question entirely. The number of times I’ve told myself I’m far too busy for such fripperies as exercise are countless, and yet I always manage to find time for delicious meals. Not that I think of myself as “fat”, of course. Just generously proportioned, or perhaps endearingly chubby.

But you’d have to say it’s somewhat surprising that people who are overworked and overeating are cool about the whole thing? It hasn’t done wonders for my self-esteem. But I generally don’t ‘fess up to it. I’m far more likely to defensively say that everything’s fine, while secretly wishing I hadn’t lashed out on that last Giant Freddo. (Everyone has their vice. Mine is an oversized candy frog. So call me Ben Cousins.)

There are a lot of things to be happy about, though. I haven’t slept with Pauline Hanson, for instance. Or failed a lie detector test about it on national television. I’ll be more than satisfied with being overweight and overworked, thanks all the same. Now where’s my survey form?

Dominic Knight

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