Monday, March 11, 2013

The joy of Now

     I remember having a bad day back in 2004. It’s not the only bad day I ever had, but it was such a lousy day that I remember how crappy it was. It had a long lasting effect on my. Months after I would look back on it and worry that there would be worse days than that ahead in my life. What is there are days to come that will be worse than that? I’ve lucked out so far.
     Last Wednesday was a good day. We went to Sea World in San Diego. The kids woke up with no problem and were in the van ready to leave when it was time. We had a good drive down. I took quick alternate route around bad freeway traffic. I hit all green lights on the surface streets and unquestionably saved time. I had a good playlist picked out. The drive down through Temecula and across the county line was beautiful as usual and we got to Sea World on time to meet our group and get in.
     Sea World was a blast as always. We rode our favorite rides, saw our favorite shows, and ate a good lunch that we had packed and brought. The weather was cool, but sunny. Everyone had a good time. The kids had a good time and there were no meltdowns or difficulties. We left the park just before closing. I got a little turned around looking for where we always get supper but after a few corrective turns we found the In-N-Out Burger. After that the drive home was easy and pleasant.
     Everyone had had a great day. Nathaniel said his favorite part was the breakfast sandwich I had made him. The day had been almost flawless. I ought to have been joyous after it. I was happy, but there was still an uneasy feeling from the day.
     It has to be a terribly unhealthy attitude to have. But after such a good day, the nagging feeling inside of me was this: What if I never have another day this good again?
     After a bad day, my worry was that it wouldn’t be the worst ever. After a great day, my worry was that it would be the best. I think that this is what drives me to not want to do anything sometimes. If I just stay on the level status quo, no highs or lows then there will be no worries.
     No highs and no lows. No highs seems like a terrible price to pay for no lows. I don’t know if it’s worth it. I do know it feels wrong.
     We rode the Journey to Atlantis that day. It’s a fun, wet roller coaster ride. The first time we all rode together. When the day was almost over Jamie and I rode it once more together. I couldn’t help but think of a day at Sea World about 6 years ago. Jamie was too young to go on the ride and stood by and waited to watch the older kids and I ride by. Every roller coaster car that roared past splashed Jamie abundantly. He loved it. Prajna captured images of him standing in anticipation, getting soaked and laughing afterwards. And the photographs capture something. Pure joy. 

     Here is a face of someone who may or may not have had a terrible day the day before. But in just this moment, nothing in the world is greater than the sunshine and the splash of a passing roller coaster car. Who cares if tomorrow will be bad? This is now and now is good.
     I would like to live in the moment more, but here I am at this moment, reflecting back a week, 6 years and even 8 years. A lot of my blog goes on about the past. Nostalgia is one thing, but fixation on the past is another.
     The truth is that I don’t live in the moment. I constantly analyze the past and mull over the future.
     Now it’s a Sunday afternoon and I’m composing this first draft. I have a kitten curled up asleep on my lap and Roy Orbison on my headphones. I’m writing with good music and a cat. That’s good. I think I should be reveling in this with the same joy Jamie had being splashed. Of course if I leapt to my feet in celebration right now I would upset the cat and possibly my laptop that the headphones are plugged into. I don’t have to be whooping it up. But I can at least acknowledge that there are good days all around and I ought to look out for them and be thankful.
     I would like to recognize that most moments I’m existing in are alright, even pleasant.
     The cat just looked at me and jumped off my lap. I’m not totally devastated because I can finally stretch my legs. Things are still good.

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