We haven’t seen the sun much lately. When I have to endure several days in a row without sunshine, I get S.A.D. (Seasonal Affective Disorder, otherwise known as depression caused by lack of sunlight).
Unusually cold weather – but as humid as ever – has accompanied the dreary, cloudy days, making me unwilling to do much outside beyond the “have-to” chores. And so I’ve been experiencing cabin fever, as well as S.A.D.
The other morning, I was feeling so miserable that I asked J, “Do you think it’s natural for people to get cynical as they age? To feel like there’s no meaning to life?” I compared the almost-fifty crowd, to which I belong, to the twenty-something crowd that tends to be super-idealistic and excited about life and the difference they can make in the world.
Basically, I wanted to know I wasn’t the only one in the room wondering why the heck I was here when every day is pretty much the same as the next and my existence didn’t seem to matter.
Understand, I don’t always feel this way. In fact, most of the time I don’t. But when I do, boy let me tell you, I feel it.
Our conversation went on for a couple of minutes, I’m sure with J silently saying, “Oh, brother. Here we go again.”
Then B woke up and started talking.
In case you don’t understand how we would be able to hear B talking to us from his bedroom when we were in the kitchen, watch this video:
(BTW, this house looks a bit different now and I’ll be making/publishing that video in the next week.)
I told B to be quiet, that Daddy was in the middle of saying something. He finished his piece, and I said, “No, that’s not what I meant. I mean, what’s the point of life?”
I had lowered my voice in an attempt to keep B from listening, but the concrete dome ceiling does weird things to acoustics. Namely, if someone is talking – even in a low voice – or making noise on one side of the house, if you’re on the opposite side you’ll hear it like the noise is happening right next to you.
So B heard me. And his response to my question was instant and without any hesitation.
“The point is to have fun and be yourself!”
My son is an immature eleven-year-old who has never read a single self-help book or watched any videos on the philosophy of life.
Yet, he nailed it.
I kid you not, tears welled in my eyes and a few escaped onto my cheeks.
The meaning of life, summed up in brilliant simplicity: “Have fun, and be yourself.”
Then the next question is, how to do you have fun if you feel like life sucks, and how do you be yourself in the face of a complicated world that expects you to behave and look a certain way?
I think those are questions worth exploring in future posts, don’t you?