Birthday

I’ve come to a decision.

One might as well come to decisions on one’s birthday.  Then you can remember exactly when you came to the decision, later, when you’re looking back.

I’ve decided to be happy.

Now wait a minute, you say.  Haven’t you ever been happy before?  What have been doing for 44 years then?  Being sad?  And isn’t half your family clinically depressed, and isn’t the world full of suffering, and isn’t it wiser to just be stoic, or resigned, or anything really other than happy?  How can you even suggest such a thing?  And what do you mean by “happy” anyway?

Okay, okay.  Let’s answer these very relevant questions. Of course I’ve been happy at times, but for the past 44 years I’ve primarily been worried about how I might appear to other people, and whether they would approve of me, and just, in general, worried.  And yes, my family is struggling with depression, but it seems to me that as our hot air balloon of family life sinks dangerously toward whatever lies beneath, this requires all the more fire of happiness on my part to keep us aloft.  And yes, the world is full of suffering.  But perhaps my happiness can help alleviate some of it.

So what do I mean by “happy”?  Hm.  I like that image of fire that popped into the paragraph above.  I don’t mean wimpy things-are-going-well happiness.  I mean something more like fire-breathing dragon happiness, happiness fueled by the deepest things within, and that roars out to devour any darkness and despair that might be in its path.

I’m not exactly a fire-breathing dragon type of person, I admit.  Probably the farthest from it you can get, actually.  But I feel the fire in there.  And it wants out.  And there’s plenty of darkness and despair in the vicinity needing to be devoured.  And I did in fact roar at Peter yesterday.  In a humorous way.  It made him smile.  When sanity doesn’t work, try insanity.

Maybe it’s just the sunny spring weather making me feel this way.  We shall see.

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