The following and all of the other episodes to come are snapshots of what goes on in my head, now and in the past. There are times none of this will make sense. There will be times when I might get lucky and the blog I post will be well constructed and will flow like a mountain stream to an awaiting lake below. Other times it will seem like the ramblings of a madman and you’ll ask yourself, “What the……?”
You should probably get use to the latter.
EPISODE SEVENTY FOUR: Chasing Happiness…
To be a kid again…
I talk about it a lot. Maybe too much. Maybe WAY too much. But I don’t think there is anything wrong with that. As long as you keep your head planted in the now, it’s OK to let a few branches swing to and fro into the past from time to time.
I like to think about the Summers when I rode my bike or skateboarded everywhere. Maybe down to the store to get a candy bar, an ICEE, and a comic book and come home, lay down under the big tree in the front yard and snack, slurp, and read the afternoon away. Or sit inside all day and have day long battles with my GI Joe’s. And on rainy days, I’d go out to the ditch by the street and walk through the flow of water, splashing until I was soaked to my knees.
Then the Fall would come, my favorite time of year. Of course, school started but the leaves falling to the ground in their beautiful colors made up for that. The piles you had to make because your dad wanted the yard raked of leaves. Then the pleasure of jumping into it for a bit. Then raking them up again. Halloween would come and the idea of a bag full of candy would make my heart ache for it to get there as fast as possible. I loved going around the neighborhood, going door to door, getting all of the sweet, sweet nectar that is candy and the days of eating on it, going from the best to the worst. And maybe a day or two with an upset stomach. But it was worth it.
Then Winter, glorious Winter. Christmas would edge closer and holiday music played everywhere I went and I’d scan the JCPenney and Sears catalogs, bending down the edges of pages where there were things I wanted off of them. I might even circle them with a pen. And the things I wanted the most, would be written down in my big sloppy handwriting and given to ‘Santa’. I might get one or two things on that list but I don’t think I even complained about things I didn’t get. I just enjoyed what was there for me under the tree.
I also loved just staring at our tree. I’d turn off the overhead light and look at the Christmas lights that was wrapped around it. The little angel on top, looking down on me. There was a part of me that really believed a real angel looked through its eyes to see if I was being good. I still can’t look at an angel topper without thinking that.
Then later on in January, we would have snow. I really believe there was more snow then than there is now. I loved being home from school because of snow-covered roads. My face would freeze and my legs would get stiff from rolling around in it. I’d come in and have some warm soup and crackers for lunch and back out I would go. If there was a blue sky above me, I’d stand out in the middle of the yard and look straight up. I’d cup my hands around my eyes so I couldn’t see anything around me, only up. I’d pretend I was in Antarctica on some sort of scientific adventure. Not sure why I did that. But I loved it.
Spring would come around, the snow and the cold would go away and I’d start thinking about Summer again, waiting for my school-less days to start.
You can say as I kid, I chased happiness a lot. There were days I chased it too much and then not enough.
Now I’m an adult and I’m doing the exact same thing. There are days I think of nothing but chasing some sort of happiness and other days the happiness, the pursuing or otherwise, gets knocked to the wayside in the responsibilities you accrue when you become a responsible adult.
I dream about those times as a kid that helped shape my interests, that helped shaped what I look for in life. I think those things are important to look for, not just for me but for everybody.
Have you ever met somebody that seems to have no sense of humor? Or they never seem to laugh? Or they believe that dreaming and imagining is only for children?
I’m not one of them.
I think their days of chasing happiness is over.
I think there isn’t anything much sadder than that. That child in them seems to have died at some point and all that is left is some ‘adult’ that feels lost and alone.
Chasing happiness is an important part of life. Wait…living. It’s an important part of living.
It’s true I have my bad days. My bad days are the main reason why I write this post every week. It gives me an outlet to say what I feel without being interrupted and gives me a great way not to lose my train of thought. And there are times when my bad days are really bad.
But I’ll take them a hundred times over than to be someone where the chase is over.
They have it worse. And they know it. And are too scared to start running again.
It will never be wrong to think about the happiness you once had, as a child or an adult. Thinking about your happiness helps give you the motivation to keep chasing more happiness . You want more happiness. Maybe you want to share it with somebody you care about.
Chasing your happiness is a race you never want to end.
If you see me sometime, just thinking, maybe with a little smile on my face, I might be jumping into a pile of leaves or looking straight up as I’m standing in the snow of Antarctica.
I invite you to join me. One chaser to another.
June 30th 2017
I’ve decided to keep a blog about how I’m dealing with depression. I’m going to consider this a form of therapy. It might not help anybody else but it might help me.