This was the state he strove for: relatively happy. Happiness could easily tip over into its antithesis and sadness was hard to overcome. One could maintain a fairly continuous state of relative happiness if one took it easy.

John Ajvide Lindqvist, trans. Ebba Segerberg, Let the Old Dreams Die: Stories [Amazon, Bookshop, Publisher, Local Library]

Hermetic quote Lindqvist Segerberg Let the Old Dreams Die state strove for relatively happy happiness easily tip antithesis sadness hard overcome maintain continuous state relative if took easy