Joy and Happiness


                                                

⚽ The English dictionary doesn’t give a particularly good distinction between joy and happiness, but I think it should.  I believe joy is related to a particular event in your life. For me, it would be throwing a “Ringer” in horseshoes or having the power generator fire up every three months without me having to work on it.  In other words, for me, it is normally a singular event. 

Happiness is a totally different animal.  That is something that covers you like a warm blanket in the dead of winter and allows you to sleep the entire night without waking up.  It is something that stays with you until something happens that brings you back into the constant ups and downs of normal life.   Mostly, I think terrible things stop the “happiness train” and that can be many things; health problems for yourself or someone you care about, deaths, financial problems, or family problems like drugs and alcohol. 

I have been on that “happiness train” for almost 28 years and there have been a few times that it screeched to a halt.  But sooner or later, it came back to life and continued on its journey with my wife and I onboard.  A friend (Reese) told me recently that life for him has been like a bus ride with people getting on, riding for a while, and then getting off as new riders got on.  What we all know is that as we get older people get off and fewer and fewer get on. Finally we get to the end of the ride and only a few people are still on the bus and only a few of those were on it from the start.

My “happiness train” is still chugging along, some getting off and some getting on and all of us bringing happiness, or joy, to each other in some way.  Yup!  I prefer happiness to joy because it lasts much longer.

An old German Proverb goes, “When a man is happy, he does not hear the clock strike”.  Now, that dog will hunt! 😊       

⚽  By the time we die, most of us will have spent a quarter of a century asleep, of which six years or more will have been spent dreaming—and almost all of those dreams are forgotten upon waking.  Sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night, head for the bathroom, and upon returning to bed, pick up the same dream again even though I purposefully try to avoid it.  Most of them are nonsensical and I ignore them but occasionally they are meaningful and leave an impression.  Last night I had a dream about my dearly departed sister-in-law (Mary Ann) and that will stay with me all day. 

So, I don’t think all dreams are a waste of time, although I do think most are.  From everything I have read about them, they are believed to serve a purpose in rebooting our brain to re-energize our cells.  I do know that when I fail to get enough sleep I tend to make poor decisions, at least that’s what I’m blaming it on 😊.  I have also discovered that I can sometimes determine what I’ll dream about by thinking of whatever is on my mind as I drop off to sleep.  It doesn’t always work, but often it does.  I was once asked if my dreams were in color or black & white?  Honestly, I don’t know.  If they are in color, they’re not very bright, because that never seemed relevant to whatever the dream was about.  I believe the only time I don’t have dreams is when I go to bed dead tired.

Truth be known, I probably don’t get enough sleep each night, hovering somewhere around 6.5 to 7 hours.  Doctors want all of us to get from 7 to 8 hours, but I only get the maximum about once a month.  I like to think that I’m an “Early Riser”, but deep down I know that I’m not.  I go to bed at midnight and get up at 7am.  My daughter gets out of bed at 4:30am to get ready for work.  She needs to look exactly right before she gets in her car to make the daily commute.   She’s a true “Early Riser”.  Walter Dwight said, “Early risers, as a rule, are a notably arrogant set.”  My daughter isn’t arrogant, she just wants to look her best before going out her front door 😊.

 ⚽ I have had 20 homes in my life, my wife only seven.  Of those 20 homes, I spent 17 years in one and 28 at my current residence. Most of my moving was during my 20s and we were always renters, not homeowners.  It often gives me pleasure to trace the course of my life thru the places I have lived.  I remember the very first time I moved in my life.  I was nine years old and living in “Page” coal camp.  A house about 50 feet away was being vacated and it was much bigger and better than the one we occupied, so we were told we could move into it.  I believe the rent was about $20 each month.  Well, the big day arrived for the move and we began transferring everything in our old home to the new home.  It took all day and what seemed like a thousand trips to get everything moved.  I remember being surprised that we had that much stuff.  My family and I certainly enjoyed living in that “upgraded” home.  Compared to homes today it wouldn’t have been such a great upgrade, but life is all about what you’re used to having, especially when you’re nine years old 😊.  I remember Mom being so excited and that transferred to my brother (Jerry) and I.  It had a finished basement for Mom’s washing machine and rinsing tubs and a shower for Dad to use when he came home each day from the coal mines. 

I had a lot of fond memories while living in that house.  I wanted to be on the high school football team in the 9th grade and P.L. Williams, the coach, came to our home to convince Mom & Dad to let me come out for the team (our school was small and he needed players).  Dad bought a new 1955 Ford Fairlane while we lived there.  My Great-Uncle came to visit one Sunday and didn’t know how to use the bathroom.  He had an “Outhouse” with no running water.  I was outside playing in the yard and he slyly came out and asked me where the outhouse was, and I told him we didn’t have one, that he needed to use the bathroom.  He embarrassedly asked me to show him how to use it.  We went inside thru the back door to avoid everyone inside, and I dutifully showed him how it worked.  His eyes opened wide in amazement as he observed this “newfangled way” of using the toilet.  I had my first date while living in that house, played a thousand hands of “Knuckles” poker there during the winter months. 

“Yeah, I had a lot of good memories in that old house, and in almost every place I have lived during my long life.  In some of those homes, I experienced a lot of success and in others failure.  Michael Jordan said, “I missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games and 26 times I’ve been trusted to take the game-winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over again in my life, and that is why I succeed.”   I can surely relate to that 😊. 

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