One Year of Happiness. . .or not?


The following is an entry for a “Blog Carnival” hosted by Poet Mashawn Mickels. The prompt: “if you could spend one year in perfect happiness, but afterward, you would remember nothing of the experience, would you do so?”

Yes and no.

OK, so you think I’m indecisive?

Let’s start with no. After all, who wouldn’t want to spend a year in perfect happiness, even if you don‘t remember it? That’s what pictures and video are for!

Think about those experiences where you say, “I can’t be any happier than I am right now.”

When I proposed, got married, and saw my daughter being born — those experiences stick out to me. So does my 1991 trip across Europe, my first bite of filet mignon (I love steak), and every relationship I ever had when it was still in its “honeymoon” stage.

Today, if I look at a picture of my high school girlfriends, I’ll smile: not because I’m still in love with them, but because the photo evokes a warm feeling attached to an experience. Without that personal memory, even if they described what happened in detail, there’s no sentimental feeling attached. It would be like hearing a stranger’s story.

I try to live life on purpose; that is, I want to make things happen for me instead of allowing things to happen to me. So, the bigger tragedy would be forgetting memories of places I’ve gone and things I’ve done, not never experiencing them in the first place.

Now, on the other hand, I would do it. Screw the memories!

Hear me out. Say a camera crew follows you every day for a year. What would a perfectly happy version of you do? What would he be capable of doing? Imagine popping in a DVD of your lost year and you’re skydiving, swimming with sharks, and trying escargot — three things you swore you’d never try.

Not only are you doing it, but you’re enjoying it. Wouldn’t you be more willing to try something again if you were guaranteed to enjoy it? Happiness increases endorphins, which help build your immune system. Imagine having the healthiest year you’ve ever had?

If you weren’t living on purpose, maybe you’d start. I know I would.

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