A few of my favorite things

Am mesmerized by John Coltrane's jazzy version of My Favorite Things.

Thus, it was natural to use that as a basis for planning my birthday celebration.

Am doing birthday baseball, bicycle and bbq ribs ... a few of my favorite things and I'll be sharing them with a few of my favorite people ... that crazy quilt of friends that God has brought into my life.

Will be seeing the Dodgers vs. Twins who haven't played each other since the 1965 World Series. I love baseball. Call me old-fashioned but there is something about the pace of the game that matches the rhythm of life. And there is something soothing about the vastness of the ballpark.

Am going bike riding as well. Thank God for good health and the opportunity to enjoy Southern California.

And having dinner at Zeke's Smokehouse. I'm a carnivore. I admit it!

And of course, all this with various friends.

Have to say as I ponder marking off another birthday, I find the thoughts written by Sherry seem right about where I'm at. Excerpts:
... basically, right now I am about as happy as I'm going to be. Of course I want things, lots and lots and lots of things, and I imagine they will make me happier. I want more money and a sense of safety. I want to fall in love and have a family. I want to feel professionally accomplished. I want to be a leader in my community. I want my yard to be less of a mess. I want to be in better shape. Blah, blah, blah. And of course I'm anxious about things: I'm not doing a good enough job on this project, I wish I understood that better, I haven't been attentive enough or persuasive enough or helpful or kind or generous enough in various arenas of my life. But the point is, although these drives and goals are linked to external things, the underlying feelings aren't. ... Excitement from good things wears off, as does the pain of bad things. If you can unhook from those big achievements and setbacks, and appreciate the daily constants that fill up your life, I think you can bounce back from most things.
The fact of the matter is we don't feel happy 100% of the time - yes, you came to the right blog for amazing insights into life! Indeed, of course, sometimes, I feel rather sad about this or that. As I see it, we should experience what we feel without denial and turn it over to God in gratitude and humility.

When we are happy, we should enjoy that moment and have gratitude for the reasons and if there are no obvious reasons then we should be grateful simply for the experience of joy and life. We don't sit there thinking, I shouldn't be happy, stop being so happy. If we are taking glee at evil then something is wrong. But otherwise, we should enjoy the ride and ride that wave of happiness as long as it lasts.

Likewise, when we feel sad, we shouldn't sweep it under the rug. Often, I find that sadness confirms what is valuable to me. When I spill something, I'm upset for maybe 2 seconds. It just isn't that important in the grand scheme of things. But when I read a tragic story in the newspaper or a friend relates a difficult situation or I feel sad about something in my own life, I need to admit I feel sad and to recognize that there maybe and probably is something valuable at stake. Inside each of us, and from religious teaching, we have this sense of what is important and how things should be which leads to some of our experience of happiness and sadness. And so, just as we don't say, stop being so happy when we are happy; we really don't need to say stop feeling sad when we are sad. The sadness washes over us and we experience that and in a moment, though sometimes longer than we'd like, we bob to the surface and feel the warmth of the sun and the brightness of life once again.


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