Every once in a while, a really misguided idea comes to me in the middle of the night. Or close enough to it, anyway.
And even in a sleepy haze, I’m remarkably good at overlooking the really and misguided parts. It’s always so easy to just skip right over those, and latch right onto the rest.
I can’t tell you exactly when/where I got the impression that we should be rationing joy.
Why would we want to ration joy?
What a terrible thing to be good at. And how awful, to believe that happiness must be somehow earned.
Can I tell you something? If you’re unemployed and you choose to adopt that view, it’s very, very hard to be happy.
I want to buy into something else. I want to believe that there is no such thing as too much. Too much idle time, too much fun, too much laughter. Too much butter. What would it be like, to have too much butter?
(It would be delicious, slid inside a pillowy pocket of tandoor bread. Particularly if you wanted to pop the whole thing onto the grill. So the pats of butter could melt and the bread could puff up even more.)
What would it be like, to just let go? What would it be like, to just enjoy, enjoy, enjoy.
And what it would be like, to be wildly, wildly out of control? To drive too fast, to love too hard. To go careening down a mountain, to throw all caution to the wind. I have no idea what that would be like. I know what it’s like to remain in rigid control.
I know what it’s like to diet, to budget, to refrain, to restrict. I know what it’s like to seesaw between Good and Guilty. I know what it’s like to be miserable. I can tell you all about that.
But I want to be able to tell you about something else. I want to be able to tell you about a morning in which I did not wake up and shuttle myself to the gym. What if I went somewhere else, instead?
And what if I tried something new, while I was over there?
And what if it involved several swings and a miss? And a don’t-look and a dozen do-overs, besides? And what if it were fun? What if it made me laugh and laugh and laugh, and pile into the car feeling hot and sweaty and summery.
It is not the dead of winter. And I am not going to be depressed. And I refuse to spend today doling out pleasure, a little bit at a time.
There will be no more of that. Let’s have more, more, more, instead. Let’s come as close to “too much” as we can.
“You must learn to let go. Release the stress. You were never in control anyway.” -Steve Maraboli
“In the end, what really matters? Only kindness. Only making somebody a little happier for your presence.” -Nancy Horan
“Feelings are just visitors, let them come and go.” -Mooji
“Besides the noble art of getting things done, there is the noble art of leaving things undone. The wisdom of life consists in the elimination of non-essentials.” -Lin Yutang
“Money turns people into liars and emotional ghosts. School grades are an inaccurate representation of you. Measure your life’s worth in how many times you’ve nearly lost your life to laughter, how many books you’ve closed with happy tears in your eyes, people whose lives you’ve brought joy to, marshmallows eaten, or countries visited.” -Unknown
“The meaning of life is just to be alive. It is so plain and so obvious and so simple. And yet, everybody rushes around in a great panic as if it were necessary to achieve something beyond themselves.” -Alan Wilson Watts
“I don’t want to earn my living; I want to live.” -Oscar Wilde
“Let people feel the weight of who you are and let them deal with it.” -John Eldridge
“I hope you will fall in love as many times as you need. I hope you will fall in love with the way your bones automatically align themselves to fit someone else’s spine; I hope you fall in love with the way someone else can still love you with their back turned. I hope you fall in love the same way a car goes into reverse, with a brief moment of panic before the slow catch and release. I hope you’ll fall in love with someone who would rather be alone with you than the alone kind of alone. With someone who won’t play toss with every volley of your heart, but instead catch and hold, hold, hold.” -Meggie Royer
“I want a soul mate who can sit me down, shut me up, tell me ten things I don’t already know, and make me laugh. I don’t care what you look like, just turn me on.” -Henry Rollins
“I don’t just want to take your breath away. I want to rip it from your mouth and keep it locked away between my teeth. You can only have it back if you kiss me again.” -Meggie Royer
“By all means break the rules. Break them beautifully, deliberately and well.” -Robert Bringhurst
“There’s a place in most of us where the rain is pretty much constant, the shadows are always long, and the woods are full of monsters.” -Stephen King
“Some people live in cages with bars built from their own fears and doubts. Some people live in cages with bars built from other people’s fears and doubts; their parents, their friends, their brothers and sisters, their families. Some people live in cages with bars built from the choices others made for them, the circumstances other people imposed upon them. And some people break free.” -C. JoyBell