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The International Day Of Happiness Is Today.



The first time you thought, “I’ll be glad when this is over,” probably wasn’t during a happy moment.

Take the family dinner as a kid. Your plate sits in front of you full of green peppers, hamburger, and rice pretending to be dinner.

Your parents know you have issues with two of the three ingredients of this Spanish-like rice dripping in tomato sauce.

The house rule was clean your plate, eat all your food. But you have a nauseous reaction to what you see and smell on the plate. It was going to be a long night of struggle. Again.

Or maybe it was your first organized sport. Back in the day the first sport for most boys was Little League baseball. Youth soccer was decades away.

You were afraid of the ball, couldn’t hit or catch, barely got to play, but there you were. Right field was your domain for an inning or two, your safe spot since no one ever hits to right.

All you wanted was the game to finish. Once you get that feeling, it’s hard to shake.

In grade school one teacher paddled kids who didn’t turn in their homework. Some classmates didn’t take it well, so you started doing their homework to avoid hearing them get paddled in front of the class.

It took a year, but you got through.

In junior high the fights got rough. One of your buddies kicked an opponent in the head during lunch hour. Another punched it out until a teacher broke it up. Both guys were too tired to go on.

They were glad it was over and so were you. It got bloody.

By high school sports turned serious. Bigger, stronger, faster football players ran over you during practice, during games, and in your dreams. Your team rarely won and you blamed yourself.

You couldn’t quit because quitters never win and winners never quit, according to your dad.¬†Instead, you got smashed up on the grid iron, the soggy tundra, the field of bad dreams.

Did this happen to you?

Today baby boomers have the luxury of looking back with grace. How bad was it? Not that bad. Did it leave a mark? The years between then and now tell the true story.

College was the greatest years for some. Not so great for those who traded three months of hard labor for nine months of school and more debt, but still a little fun.

Saying you looked forward to graduating turned the page. Enough of the good times, let real life begin.

Resets and restarts are part of the real life, but somehow there’s always a rut to fall into. When things are going good enough, why change? If good enough gets you where you want to go, keep going. But what if the old feeling of, “I’ll be glad when this is over,” creeps in?

So you go to work, get married, have kids. Is that your real life, or are you waiting for that to be over too?

A hermit doesn’t ask, “What will others think” with each rut and each restart. Why? Because they’re a hermit. There are no ‘others.’

But the non-hermit needs to model the sort of behavior that isn’t rut-driven. Show a little enthusiasm, some spark. With spouses and kids, you’ve got an audience.¬†Liven up the dullness of a day that seems no different than the day before, the week before, or the year.

No one suggests binge watching ‘Friends’ but the song is pretty sweet.

So no one told you life was gonna be this way
Your job’s a joke, you’re broke, your love life’s D.O.A.
It’s like you’re always stuck in second gear
When it hasn’t been your day, your week, your month, or even your year, but…

We’re boomers, we’ve already been stuck and unstuck and stuck again. We get unstuck if we’re stuck.

If you’re spinning with the feeling that you’ll be glad once this is all over, snap out of it. Create moments a loved one wishes will never end. Do it for them and you’re doing it for yourself.

But, you say, what about me? Why do I have to all the work? I have needs, too. When do I get a moment I hope will last forever?

This is tricky stuff that needs professional analyses. Lucky for boomers, we have Dr. McCartney for advice.

Hey (your name), don’t make it bad.
Take a sad song and make it better.
Remember to let her into your heart,
Then you can start to make it better.

Hey (your name), don’t be afraid.
You were made to go out and get her.
The minute you let her under your skin,
Then you begin to make it better.

And anytime you feel the pain, hey (your name), refrain,
Don’t carry the world upon your shoulders.
For well you know that it’s a fool who plays it cool
By making his world a little colder.

It’s the first day of spring 2014 boomer, time to warm things up. Remember the words of the great Michael Jordan who said, “I missed every shot I never took.” It might sound like he’s channeling Yogi Berra, but he’s got a point.

Take your shot. Then take another. It’s the International Day of Happiness today, and the first day of spring.

Hit the comments to tell us how it turned out.





About David Gillaspie
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