I’m in training all day today, so whilst I slave away in meetings, I thought I might put a question out to all of you:
What are some of the happiest days you can remember?
I’m not looking for the easy answers here. The common ones like, “The day I got married” or “The day my first child was born.” Actually, I’d be surprised if those were actually your happiest days. Don’t get me wrong–those are some important dates for me, but in my experience, I had so many other things going on those days that it wasn’t like I could just be happy on them.
No, for me the happiest of days–the ones that stick out in my memory–are the ones where the happy just sort of sneaks up on you, or where you’re dreading the worst, and then suddenly happy comes to take its place. Maybe this will make sense with a few examples from my own life.
One day that shouldn’t stick out to me at all but did was the day I was at Disney World with my family and I got Eeyore to sign my hat. I know this sounds silly. I was sixteen or so at the time, I think. And for some reason, getting to run up to Eeyore, give him a big hug, and have him sign my Eeyore hat has stuck with me over the years to the point that I still remember exactly how it felt. Bizarre, I know. But there you go.
Another extremely happy day for me was the day I had a phone call with my (now) agents, and they agreed to sign me on as a client. I was very nervous before the phone call, as I was convinced it could really go either way, and I was dreading being turned down. Finding out they wanted to represent me? One of the best feelings in the world, all jammed into one conversation. Seeing my first book published or signing contracts just can’t compete with that, because those things are long drawn out processes, filled with hard work and negotiation.
A different sort of happy day I remember still was an evening I spent in Jerusalem. I was sitting on the lawn of the BYU Jerusalem Center right before bedtime, all by myself, just looking out over the old city and listening to Van Halen on my CD player. Yes, I realize that Jerusalem and Van Halen don’t typically go together, but it was such a peaceful, happy evening. In a place I loved, listening to music I loved, all by myself. Just enjoying the moment. Likewise, I still remember an evening in Gotha, Germany when I was a missionary. I was walking back home after a day of hard work. My companion was furious at me for something I’ve since forgotten, and he was walking a good twenty feet ahead of me. It was snowing, and I was (more or less) blessedly alone for a bit. And the snow was like movie-magic snow: dry and dusty and sparkly.
It’s an interesting exercise, thinking about happy days. It puts me in a better mood right away if I really try to come up with specific examples. And once I have one or two, I start remembering more and more. Here’s hoping they can get me through 5 hours of training meetings . . .
So how about you? What are some days that truly surprised you in a great way–days that still stick out in your memory, years or decades later?