Happiness only real when shared ~ Christopher McCandless
I watched the movie ‘Into the Wild’ the other night and this quote struck me. I travel a lot, I live alone, I spend a lot of time alone so did this make all the experiences I’ve had unhappy or lacking happiness. Sometimes I want someone there to share the experience, to enjoy the moment and to revel in the freedom but there are plenty of times I know I’m content with myself.
So I’m thinking about some of my shared experiences. Like the day I bought my boat my sister was with me and we shared in the excitement. She went on the test drive up and down the lake. It was a beautiful summer day that was exceptional because my dad took us to pick up my boat – it was a family experience and we all shared in the happiness. We’ve had many more days like that on the lake either running about or just relaxing on the back of the boat listening to music and sharing our thoughts and lives.
Another great example of happiness shared was the day I got word of my new job. My sister was visiting and all the kids made congratulations signs, we had a celebratory meal, and I knew I was going to be able to not only survive but thrive. As a single parent providing for your child the basics is priority number one, but when you can personally advance yourself professionally to meet their wants it’s like icing on the cake. It was a spectacular day shared by my family and friends. A true blessing that continues even today.
The first time Seth flew on a plane in his own seat and described to the kid in front of us how the wings, flaps, etc work. He was a first grader. One of his tv options was the history channel. Obviously a good choice for an inquisitive mind. The ride to Boston and back was entertaining with him. Love that kid and wouldn’t miss a single shared minute!
There are more than those three memories, but I reflected on those times where it was just me and I felt happiness. As a kid climbing up in a big tree and looking as far as I could see, feeling the wind as it blew through the canopy and the limbs would sway, the smell of the pecan leaves as I would pull myself up, and then the fear and challenge of leaping to the ground when it was time to go into the house. That feeling of success that I overcame my fear AND not breaking anything vital! It was the same as when you leap out of the seat of the swing at the highest point. No fear just exhilaration in the moment. Might’ve been the beginning of some of my adrenaline junky ways. Sometimes I might have a sister join me but there were plenty of times I liked the peace of alone time.
Or sitting on the hill looking out over the land smelling the lilac bushes and petting my dog. Probably more contentment and dreaming of the future. The beauty of the Ozarks was a major part of my youth. When I moved back as an adult I don’t have the same kind of view but I took up bird watching. It’s the whole nature thing. Very soothing. I can sit on the back deck with my binoculars and gaze up in the trees looking at species I hadn’t previously identified. I have some real happiness in discovering a new bird that was not checked off my list. There’s no one with the same interest and it gets made fun of so the quiet joy that comes from adding to my life list is reserved for myself most of the time.
The movie is about Christopher and his alone time in the wilderness. He finally realized that he would only have true happiness by sharing the experience. In the movie it was one of the last thoughts captured before he was incapacitated it is believed. No one will ever know for sure but I know for myself that I need both. Alone and shared. I’m an introvert at heart and I push myself to move beyond the comfortable. Comfortable is easy I don’t always want easy. A good challenge or puzzle makes like interesting.
I asked my son what he thought about this quote from Christopher. He said ‘happiness is better shared’. He has a point. Laughter is better when shared. A good case of the giggles by yourself isn’t as fun.
Conversation and laughter make life more vibrant. Recently I got to spend two separate days running around with friends enjoying life and just being. I appreciate the fact that I have people in my life that get me and all my weirdness. Love ya peeps!
Photo is about time shared. We drank flights of moonshine and whiskey at Copper Run Distillery (click on pic for link). If you’re ever in the Branson, MO area it’s a great stop. We spent hours hanging out on a bar stool. Time well spent!
It’s the weekend so enjoy it by yourself, with others or a combination of the two!