Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Pin The Tail, On That Smiling Donkey

It strikes me that yesterday's post may come across as angst filled whining. And I really am going to try and post more often, so I decided to revisit an old spot about happiness that first ran on this blog nearly four years ago to the day.

Happy Happy, Joy Joy

I've often heard people say ... "It was the happiest day of my life."

I've got a confession. I can't designate any particular day or event as the "happiest of my life."

I can rather easily tell you when I was my angriest, saddest, proudest, or most scared. Matter of fact, for just about any emotion you come up with I can tell you the date, time, and place of my most extreme emotional output -- except for happiness. And I'm not sure why.

It's not that I'm not capable of happiness. Actually I am happy 99% of the time. I tend to be a glass-half-full kind of guy who doesn't let the small gunk of life cloud my view.

If anything I'm guilty of being too certain something good is just a stone's throw away. I'm quite the Polly Anna in that fashion.

I know a lot of parents will say that the births of their kids count as their ultimate moments of happiness, and I do cherish both of my boys, but confession time again. Their actual births were nerve racking affairs of futility for me. I hate to worry, but that is all I did those days.

Both boys were C-sections. The second planned, the first not. Being a life long hunter who processes his own meat, the blood and what not didn't bother me, but watching a doctor dig in my wife's innards isn't exactly a zen moment. And then trying to check on her, tend to a squalling bundle of placenta covered joy, listening to her doctor's instruction, the boys pediatrician, the nurses, ... all while family and friends chimed in ...

Well it was stressful as hell for me. I count the days and weeks later when it was just my family at home, when the boys cooed softly or opened the eyes to stare up at them as I fed them, or the first time a soft baby fist reached up to brush my stubbled cheek. Those are all much happier times than the big event everyone else seems to describe as wondrous and miraculous and the happiest day of their lives.

Yeah, I know as a dutiful husband I could say my happiest time was my wedding day. But I'd be lying. I love my wife and will forever consider myself lucky to have found a gorgeous and intelligent woman blind enough to overlook my many faults, but again the stress and pressure of that day keeps it from being my definitive moment of joy. The demands of trying to talk to every family member and friend I have, while decked out in fancy but uncomfortable duds, smiling for a thousand pictures many from an extremely irritable photographer, while waiting for everyone to go home so ... well I won't go into that.

Anyway I have so many fond memories with Jennifer that I couldn't possible designate one as my most happy time.

There was my big plan to propose at the top of a mountain, but halfway up she was out of breath and gasping from lack of oxygen, as was I, so my vision of the sun reflecting off her diamond ring atop a majestic mountain peak, actually became a yes under the shadowy pine covered side of a mountain slope.
There are the thousands of whispered conversation we've had and still continue to have each night as we lay in bed and talk about our day.There are the trips we've taken together, to New Orleans, Vegas, the mountains, to beaches. The many songs that remind me of her for a jillion different reasons. The memory that I ate spaghetti for supper every other day for the first month we were married. Not one of those memories overrides all the others.

Maybe my most happy moment is yet to come. Maybe I'm holding out for it. Maybe I'll never be able to define it. But I'm not complaining. If this is as good as it gets then I'm still pretty damn lucky, whether I have that one spotlight moment of happiness domination or not.

So how about all of you? Can you define your happiest day?


Sarah Hina said...

I don't think I can name just one, either, but I sure enjoyed reading about your runners-up.

Those small moments are the drips that fill the cup.

Terrie Farley Moran said...

Every morning I wake up and decide that today is going to be the happiest day of my life and, thus, it usually is.

Old Kitty said...

I so know what would make my happiest day of my life but as it's not happened yet I'm quite content to rejoice in the small surprising things that come my way! take care

Rebecca said...

I just have to say that at the birth of the boys, when you struggled to listen to everyone, you really need to know that you really only need to listen to the nurses. They're the ones who actually know what's going on. :)

Charles Gramlich said...

I can think of many happy days. Hard to determine which was the happiest. and I don't really make that kind of evaluation when I'm happy.

the walking man said...

I can tell you or anyone else of them all, every last one of them but they are mine, not yours Travis. You wouldn't understand them unless you lived them, nor I yours.

One example, being on the o3 level just behind the bridge on the USS Myles C Fox DD829 riding the Mid-Atlantic forty Nautical miles out to sea in forty foot seas. I was not only happy those days I was absolutely content to be 18-19 and doing what I was doing. 173 feet long 73 feet at the beam and that ship and I, I believe were the only ones absolutely happy, joyful aboard for the ride on those days.

See what I mean? I think those days were akin to when you finally figured out no one could make you eat leafy green things anymore.

Happiest comes in moments and none more so than the other and they never stop coming as long as you have perception to know them.

G. B. Miller said...

Lots of happy moments in my life (getting published, two wonderful children, etc. etc. etc.) but my most happiest would have to be the day that the only girl that I'd ever dated, said "yes" to me on Christmas morning.

To being married that is. :D

Dizzy Ms. Lizzy said...

Mornings when I wake up next to my dear Hubby, or snuggling with one (or both) of my kitty-kids, or getting hugs from my grandsons, or spending time with my Dad.....the list goes on and on. There is no way I could pick just ONE thing that I can say made me the happiest. They ALL do. It's moments like these that make me realize I am truly blessed.

David Cranmer said...

I'm having my happiest day RIGHT NOW! Corona in hand. :)

Actually, probably the birth of my daughter and I'm not just saying that to say that.

But good points, Travis.

Phats said...

I bet your happiest moment is still to come which is cool you have something amazing to look forward to! I think I could pinpoint my happiest moment pretty easy, but I think we can always reserve the right to say something has topped it haha :)

Betty said...

I agree that life has way too many happy days to pick just one!