Remember the good (feeling) times…

Carefree joy of a child on a carousel

Have you ever watched a child on a first carousel ride? For most it is an experience of carefree joy. Most children become quite excited upon seeing a carousel. They love the color and motion. The unique animals to ride upon. They see the other children enjoying their rides. They reach out for it. Some almost leap from their parents arms to try to get to it.

Have you ever experienced the feeling of carefree joy yourself? Take a moment to remember it. To re-experience it. That is what memories are for. Memories are not merely for useful facts and how-to’s or for warnings about what to avoid. Memories allow you to experience the good feelings in life and help you find ways to re-create them in a variety of ways.

How can you create some carefree joy in your life today?

Celebrate the everyday every day.

Remember the musical Auntie Mame?  The song We Need A Little Christmas? (“We need a little Christmas, right this very minute…”) Think about what it’s like at Christmas — people exchanging cards, wishing each other well, having get-togethers, exchanging gifts; families making time to be together and share activities and memories.  Think about the warmth.  The anticipation.

Holidays and celebrations, greetings and gift-giving.  You feel good at those times.   You have the nostalgia of the various traditions, including stories, poetry and music.  And it’s not just at Christmas.  There are a number of traditions around celebrating birthdays, weddings and wedding anniversaries, christenings, bar (bas) mitzvahs, Independence Day, Thanksgiving Day, Mardi Gras (in a few places), Valentine’s Day… many, many other times of celebration.

The good feelings come from sharing those traditions and memories with friends and family. They come from doing things for and making things for others. From surprising and pleasing others. From creating a celebratory environment. From creating an environment and activities that generate feelings of caring and connection.

You don’t need to wait for holidays or special occasions to care and connect, to share and enjoy. You have opportunities or can make opportunities to do so every day. You can do it with phone calls, e-mails, cards, visits, meeting for coffee or lunch–and a myriad of other ways. You could take your wife a rose for no reason other than it was Tuesday.  You could light a fragrant candle and put it on the dinner table just because it makes you smile and it’s Friday. You can break out the fine china and have a formal tea with your best friend.  You can learn to celebrate the everyday every day.

Today is August 1, 2009. Happy day. Happy summer. Happy Saturday. Quick, try to think of five reasons to celebrate today.