I wish I was the kind of diarist who could draw clever cartoons or renderings of beautiful houses or hilarious sayings in the margins of my journals but I’m not. I just write. Sometimes I glue things in first and then write over top of that but mostly I just write. It is the best way I know to get rid of the junk in my head. I journal because I get to say anything I want. Say it badly if I want. Write the word FUCK in big fat letters or scribble all over the page or complain about friends or whine about myself and my moods and be melancholy as I want to be but lately it seems that I’ve gotten into the habit of being in the melancholy state a little too often. I don’t do it on purpose. I’ve just always been that way. Being happy is one of the saddest things that can happen to a person. Life is so good it’s goddamn scary. I am one of those lucky people who has it pretty damn great. I love my husband for starters. I think he is gorgeous and kind and smart. He is a good man. He is a gentle man. And those characteristics are getting harder and harder to come by. My kids are amazing. They’re all wonderful people. They’re respectful and careful with people’s feelings. We laugh together and genuinely like each other. Not to say we haven’t had our moments we wouldn’t be normal if we hadn’t but by and large everything is A. O. K. So. Why am I sad?
I’m not sad all the time, but probably about half. Like the song says I was born this way. I don’t court melancholia. I count my blessings. I am grateful. But I am keenly aware of the eventuality of it all and it’s a terrible habit. It’s like being at the greatest party you’ve ever been to. The music is pumping, the mood is jubilant. People are dancing and laughing and no one is overly drunk or annoying. You’re having so much fun you don’t want the night to end. But you don’t stand in the corner thinking how sad it is that such a great party will be over soon. You dance. You laugh. Maybe you sing some karaoke. And you go home saying to one another “God that was great!!! We should do it more often!” If life is a party maybe I shouldn’t be watching the clock. Living in the moment is hard. Why is it that it’s so much easier to look backwards or forwards instead of just enjoying the party? Two words. Catastrophic thought.
Having happiness is the strange bedfellow of catastrophic thinking. I always use the butterfly analogy. When I talk about love to my kids I always tell them that love is like holding a butterfly. If you hold it gently it will flutter and tickle your palms. But if you hold it too tightly you’ll kill it. The same is true of life in general. Hold on too tight and you kill the joy. I’m just holding too tight. I don’t want it to end. I don’t want to lose my husband or god forbid a child. I want to live a long life with Ken. I want our kids to live long, healthy, happy lives as well and I want them to find someone who loves them like we love each other. I just don’t want the party to be over.
My husband has taken up Kiteboarding. The guys he rides with have a saying ‘best day ever’. It doesn’t really matter if the conditions were ideal they always end the day the same way. ‘Best day ever.’ I love that. It’s a shift in consciousness. And it applies to everything. Best job ever. Best sandwich ever. Best nap ever. Mind you it’s easy to say that now knowing that I’m heading to the lake tonight and that I’ll be sitting on my patio with my husband celebrating 28 years of best days ever. It will be alot harder when I’m at work next week and people need things from me yesterday and the dog has peed on the floor. But for right this minute, when everyone I love is safe it’s the best day ever.