The surprising feeling of good feelings

posted by Jeff | Sunday, August 1, 2021, 7:40 PM | comments: 0

One of the things my darling offspring reminds me about is the feeling of extraordinary joy and excitement that we don't feel in quite the same way as adults. I'm happy to report that I have in fact felt that a number of times recently, and it's surprising.

It's not that I haven't experienced joy in the last few years (though if that was the case, it doesn't mean something is wrong with me), it just hasn't been to the extent that I would consider "childlike" in nature. There really is something different about it. When I was a kid, I remember trying to describe it to my mom as a "tingly feeling in my butt," which she did not understand. As an adult, I would say that the physical manifestation of this kind of anticipation and joy is a good anxious feeling that you feel all over, but for me, especially in my hands and feet, and yes, maybe in my lower abdomen. It's paired with a dominant cycle of obsession in the brain, which sometimes makes it harder to sleep.

I've always felt like I needed something to look forward to, but I don't think that comes at the expense of living in the moment. The excitement and joy about things coming soon generally translates into more joy in the moment. What has felt particularly good lately is that the scope of joyous things has been pretty wide. I can recall a short trip recently that felt amazing, but also lying down for a nap yesterday. I was a little too excited about the nap though, so it didn't result in much sleeping.

Where were these feelings before? Sure, I can blame some of it on the pandemic, but I'm coming to understand some other factors as well. A small part of it might just be adulthood, but it's not a huge factor. Many of the serious factors are in the past now, but combined with a greater focus on letting things roll off, and maybe just coming to grips with the ephemeral condition of life, things small and large excite me with the wonder of a child. My curiosity is strong about many things.

I'm not going to lie, it helps that a lot of good things have happened this year. Some very important things happened that fundamentally change the trajectory of our lives. Some were by design, some were purely by accident. I mean, it's not all fun, like I have to get a colonoscopy because the age to start screening changed, but it's mostly more fun.

The last month or two, I've felt that we were on the edge of a change in how things were going. It's hard to describe. I just know that I want to keep moving toward it.


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