Friday, March 15, 2013

How to bottle happiness

How to bottle happiness
How to bottle happiness...

Written by: Attila Farkas

By the time your children become teenagers, you will forget thousands of random moments that could put a smile on your face later on in your golden years.
I used to make up bedtime stories for my kids when they were younger; most of the stories were silly and made them have a good laugh just before bedtime and I think that's the best way to go to sleep.
I often promised myself that I soon as I the kids fall asleep I will go downstairs write down some of the best stories, but like for most of us life got in the way, or rather I let life get in the way.
Your life can get in your way too if you let it and will rob you of your precious memories if you don’t write them down. I am planning to use these blogs to try to go back in time and write about some of the stories that I remember.
My advice to you is that when those special moments happen, take a few minutes the same day and write down the details, the random small moments in life with your family or friends. Some of these moments also happen in class when I am teaching. My students make me feel happy, complete and connected.
The random happy moments in your life are also gold coins that you should collect in the biggest glass jar that you can find. If you don't have a glass jar you can record your precious memories on paper or your iPhone or even napkins will work. You can even write a collection of blogs if you want to share your coins with others. Blogging is not ranting on the Internet as many people call it. Blogging is what you make it. For me, blogging is sharing my gold coins. I can even hear that unique sound they make when you drop a few of them on an old homemade wooden table. Schedule time to take some of those memories back; record them before they dissolve into unrecognizable little pieces of history. Don’t let work, overtime, household chores, headaches, always putting others first, get in the way.

Gold coin #1

The monkey bar

My wife and I have spent almost two weeks designing and building a custom tree house for our three kids when they were young. Peter was six, Erika three and Thomas just a baby when we finished the tree house. It is big enough so the three of them can fit inside, it is complete with a monkey bar, swing set, and the slide. 

It was the end of July 2007 and I was placing cages around my lush green tomatoes and tied up some overgrown vines. Every few seconds I looked over to see my son, Peter had made it up on the steps of the tree house.
He climbed up, spent about a minute inside and stepped over to the entrance and looked over at the monkey bar. No one was there to lift him up like other times so he can grab onto the bars. He was not much taller than three feet, about the same height as the floor of the tree house was off the ground. He looked down; the floor of the tree house was high enough to be a bit scary but not too high to be dangerous. He looked up at the monkey bar and raised his arms to measure the distance. He would have to jump almost a foot to reach the bars. He had jumped down from the tree house before and he knew that he would be fine, but it's different to fall when you miss your mark.
 “I can't reach it, I can't... it’s too high,” said Peter. I could barely hear his voice and he didn't realize that I was watching him. I left my tomatoes and stepped over to the tree house.
“How is it going son?” asked him with a big smile on my face.
“I can't reach it. It's too high,” he said. His big blue eyes showed some determination, but not enough confidence.
“Listen if you tell your mind that you can do it and you can picture yourself jumping for it and grabbing it, it will work. Your mind will help your body to do it,” I said.
I used simple words and made it sound like this is as simple as spreading peanut butter on bread.
He nodded in agreement but didn’t say anything. I went back to my tomatoes and noticed a honeybee collecting nectar from one of the yellow tomato flowers.  The midday sun looked at us from a clear blue sky and only an old black crow tried to ruin the moment by sounding a few doubting kraa-kraa words in crow language. I pretended to focus on my tomatoes; even turned my back for a moment and when I looked back I saw Peter swinging on the monkey bar. He was grabbing onto the wood pieces one by one and when he turned back I stepped over, hugged him and helped him onto the landing pad by the entrance.
“Good job buddy, that was amazing,” I said and gave him a high five and a hug. “So what happened?”
“I saw the picture in my head, and I told myself I can do it,” he said, his face was gleaming with pride.
“I did it,” he said.
“You did a fantastic job!” I said one more time and I went back to work with my tomatoes. When I looked back, Peter was swinging on the monkey bar again.
He is going to turn thirteen this year and had some lazy moments lately, but every time he says that something is too hard or impossible, I just have to say five words. Peter, remember the monkey bar...

If you would like another gold coin, please leave a comment.
Thank you for collecting the coins...