Monday, January 16, 2012

"Find a Happy Place!"

I am a big believer in "enjoying every station of life".
Having spent enough time with grandparents and seniors,
I'm told that while the aches and pains of age really stink,
seeing your grandchildren running around makes it all well worth it.

Recently I was introduced to one of those new adventures that only comes with age: I got my first crown.
No, it wasn't a king's crown, but parts of the procedure did come with some king-sized pain.
I got this crown in the dentist's chair.

As I found myself taking in new experiences
(like gaining a clear understanding of what it would be like if someone tried to shove a buick in my mouth using the jaws-of-life),
I drew upon recent memory to "find my happy place".

In my house, you can't use the term "happy place" without one of my kids loudly mimicking the frantic starfish in Finding Nemo as she hollers "Find a happy place" repeatedly, as a kid beats against the other side of the glass of the fishtank.

I'm not a real pop-psychology buff, but sometimes it does help to try and detach yourself a bit from the immediate chaos you're in, and pretend you are somewhere else.
I helped a couple realize their "happy place" back in November:
it's mentioned in my post "Another Perfect Moment".

In the summer of 2000, on our way to Europe, my wife and I were lucky enough to get moved up to first-class on Lufthansa. 
That was my "happy place" for the longest time.
Any first-class is great, Lufthansa's version: even better.
But since I only did it once, the Lufthansa first-class memory hasn't had much staying power, and the more I use it, the more it fades off. 
My first-class "happy place" has been increasingly losing it's power to chase away bad times.

So the other day, as I was having terrible things done to my mouth, and starting to feel agitated and sweaty, I fell back into another state of mind.

It wasn't flying to Europe this time.
My wife, who was in the room sensed it when I became more relaxed
(despite the mayhem in my mouth), and she asked me where I was.
I can't type exactly what it sounded like,
but she understood my response to be "rowing".

I was out there,
rowing at twilight,
in perfect conditions,
on a canal in Newport where in 1993 I proposed to my wife.
My "perfect moment".
My "serenity".
My "happy place".

I've lived that dream thousands of times now,
no matter how many times I draw from it, that one will never get old.

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