I invite you to write down brief descriptions of the five most pleasurable moments you’ve ever experienced in your life. Let your imagination dwell lovingly on these memories for, say, 20 minutes. And keep them close to the surface of your awareness in the week ahead. If you ever catch yourself slipping into a negative train of thought, interrupt it immediately and compel yourself to fantasize about those Big Five Ecstatic Moments. This exercise will be an excellent way to prime yourself for a New Age of Unhurried Bliss and Gentle Beauty, which I predict is just ahead for you. If you can keep the morose part of your mind quiet, there’s a good chance you will stir up a new ecstatic experience that will belong near the top of your all-time list.
That’s what I’m talking about. I’ve got a really good nibble and really good vibes about this interview on Monday. I’ve passed the HR barricade, the departmental HR phone interview, did well on the phone with the hiring manager this morning. I’ve overqualified but for some reason that isn’t concerning them. This could be a nice place for me to plant myself until something in my field comes along. Lots of irons in the fire, lots of possibilities.
Let’s see, what are the top five most pleasurable moments I’ve ever experiences in my life…
- Pouilly-en-Auxois France 2006 ~ New Year’s Day dinner. The best food, the best people, the best result of a leap of faith in my life. The five course meal, three generations of family, the Luxembourg dignitary and his wife who were with us, that laughter, the flavors, the rain, the chef, my nephew’s first kiss.This is the restaurant, although it was a cold and wet January day.
- Seattle 2009 ~ Kissing that man from the brief love affair. The rest wasn’t anything to write home about but the kissing was sublime.
- Paris, 2004 ~ Looking out the window of my hotel room at dusk onto the Rue de Faubourg Saint Antoine knowing one dream had finally come true. That perfect blue sky in May. This was my room.
- Seattle ? ~ The moment that I realized that I was a grown up over 10 years into sobriety. Don’t remember the date but the memory of that moment stays with me. And knowing that never again would I believe anyone who wanted to make me feel small. That I had somehow crossed some line into belief in myself, a solid knowing of who I really am, and that no one could ever take that from me again. No matter how much they believed I was something less than, I finally knew in the depths of my being that they were mistaken. I am good. Really Good.
- Seattle 2006 ~ Driving south to a job interview after a different job interview, third in a series, knowing I’d nailed it and the job was mine. The dream job I’d always wanted. Coming around the bend in the freeway the brisk, bright, cold, and sunny February afternoon to see Mt. Rainier out in all her glory and knowing the job I’d prepared for was finally going to be mine after 6 years of dreaming and working my butt off and suffering some pretty nasty slings. I had made it.
And I’m still making it. I’m going to have more of those moments, there are many that come close and that is good enough. I have simple needs. I don’t need ecstasy all the time. I just need affirmation. I get affirmation all the time. And more is coming. I just know it. I’ve been patient, so very patient, for some time now. That was a virtue I never possessed in any quantity. My New Year’s Resolution for years was to find patience. And I have it now. I see now that patience is a form of faith. I get that now. I have both in oodles of bunches.
Some days are harder than others I admit, I do have my tears. But overall I’m pretty impressed with me. To the casual observer what I do and how I do it might not look like much, they might in fact be underwhelmed. But if you had any idea what things used to be like for me, you’d be astounded. I know I am.
When I wrote a list of where I wanted to be in five years at the beginning of my sobriety, I never put down so many of the things that I have now. And this list? Is so much better…