Monday, June 25, 2012

It's an addiction

I suppose all the addictions work the same way.I hear that the heroin addicts keep going back, looking for the euphoria they felt the first time they tried it.I know from experience that I keep reaching into the bag of chips, hoping to score the one with JUST the right amount of flavor dust on it, like I did 37 chips ago. 

I got thinking about that over the last few weekends, when our activities seemed more like celebrations of the onset of summer:ball games, watering the veggies and flowers, swimming, outdoor get-togethers in blooming gardens, having meals on the patio because it’s still warm and light enough at the dinner hour.At times like these, it seems like anywhere you look is a perfect photo op – a blaze of day lilies, perhaps, or sun-kissed loved ones , or a lush summertime landscape.On these kinds of days, the air is sweet and warm, hazy and intoxicating (and does it have a tinge of purple in the evenings?).Even our food is brighter, juicier and tastier, pairing exquisitely with grape- and grain-based drinks.These kinds of days energize me.I’m inspired to do whatever it takes to indulge in all that summer has to offer. I feel like I’m on an effortless pursuit to create, socialize, nurture, have fun, beautify and even organize! Even if that means cleaning around the house so the inside is as inviting as the outside - I’m all for it! And it seems like everyone around me feels the same. Oh, and did I mention flip flops? When one takes a pause to appreciate the decadent opportunities and gifts that present themselves on these rare and perfect summer days, upstate NY and Utopia are one in the same. 

But I realize it’s a fleeting taste of heaven because then, there are the other days.There are the plodding-along days that would look like pretty much like a straight line if you hooked them up to a seismograph, measuring for earth-moving activity. And then there are the days of zero gumption.Those are the days when you’re in your PJs at 4PM not because it’s a warm and fuzzy stay-in-our-jammies day, but because changing just didn't happen.Or brushing your hair.Or teeth. On these days, you’re on that sorry wheel of miserableness because the house is annoyingly disheveled, but you’re not about to do anything to fix it, so it gets more out of hand as the day goes on and you get more annoyed.Even the Internet and TV are jerks because no one is posting anything good on FB and there’s nothing good on 280 channels. And meaningful human contact? Not likely to happen on a day like this. Have you ever had more than one of these days in a row?Me too - yikes, right? 

You have to admit, at least from an energy expenditure standpoint, wallowing in an uninspired low is easier than, well, doing anything, really. So what is it that comes along and gets us going again? For me, I think it's believing that a great day is right around the corner. Okay, maybe not the next corner, but maybe the one after that. Sometimes, it's the remembrance of a sweet, golden summer's day when all is right with the world and knowing that another one isn't all that far away that keeps me on the chase. Since the first time I stopped to take notice of one, I've wanted another and another. By some grace, I've had the wherewithal to realize that I've been granted a lovely collection of those kinds of days. And yet, I want more and so I set my sights on them, time after time, all the while hoping that my gratitude for what I receive will be a sufficient counter-balance to my greediness. 

Andy Grammer says, "You gotta keep your head up/So you can let your hair down...", the old metaphor tells us to "reach for the brass ring", but my favorite bit of wisdom tells us to "keep on keepin' on". It's all about the pursuit of joy; a worthwhile addiction if there ever was one.  

So, in case you've been so saddled by the journey that you've forgotten where you're headed, good news - you're here! It's summertime in the great Northeast. Get out there and feed your happiness jones! And if you're doing something fun, hit me up so I can come, too!