Liberty is being free from the things we don't like in order to be slaves of the things we do like.--Ernest Benn

Monday, July 19, 2010

Time of My Life

Things have been cruising well for me these days. I'm a habitual and dysfunctional pessimist, always expecting disaster approaching from around the next corner. I don't know why that is. Non-verbal cues from parents? I don't want to go there. But I don't function well as a pessimist, because I don't feel especially well prepared for the most probable cataclysms which could occur.

But, of late, I've trying to feel content within my skin and with the moment. Sunday, we went out with a sailing buddy and spouse to a play written by Alan Ayckbourn, Time of My Life. The theme is a timely one for me. I think I'm summing
Ayckbourn's piece up fairly accurately if I state that the happiest times of our lives are not often appreciated in the moments they occur because we are too distracted with superficial static. Sadly, the happiest times are only recalled in memories and  reflections.

In the program I was careful to save, playwright Ayckbourn reflects on the body of his plays:

.....It's true that not much of my stuff finishes on an up curve. On the other hand, I hope it doesn't finish dismally desolately - maybe one or two of them do. I once said that a comedy is just a tragedy stopped at a certain point and I think that's true.

.....I'm now running so-called comedy and so-called tragedy side-by-side, like two electric wires generating emotional sparks between them.

.....I have this theory that we spend most of our lives looking forward to things or looking back ..... As a race I suspect we are quite often unable to be happy. We look forward to moments of happiness, which are often an anticlimax. We look back to times when we should have been happy, but were probably worrying about something else. I suspect we spend a lot of time looking for happiness.
It's absolutely true that I have spent gobs of time in recent years meditating or daydreaming about bucket boats: boats I want to own or sail before my owning and sailing is done. I have often expressed a little panic that my present boat is my last boat and that I'm not meant to have a next boat.

I hope that's not as much the case this season. At least I sense a change. I think I'm now more looking out for bucket occasions to experience. I am experiencing one of these at the moment.

A few years back, my youngest son purchased a small one-design keel boat, new. For years it sat in its slip three hours away from us. My son was newly married and fully and successfully engrossed in his corporate world. This summer, Trophy Wife and I volunteered for crew. We discovered that Corporate son knows how to sail and how to direct crew. Last Saturday I checked the previous evening's results on-line and discovered we had missed 2nd Place (out of 10) by two seconds. I immediately emailed a screen shot and phoned him to check his mail. It was fun scooping him!

Even better: I have just learned that he has hooked his older brother
up to crew for him in another series.

I am happy.


  1. Excellent post Doc

    I do agree with you that looking back you can only see the the golden linings of events and your happiest times.