After The Vacation

Contentment as a feeling is somewhat alien to me. The feeling of “this is nice” is usually tied to some other emotion like a need for me to do something to maintain that state like when I’m running a Scout event or hosting a get together. It’s something I experience rarely and only with a select group of people and the last four days have probably been the longest stretch of it that I can remember outside of the blissful simplicity of childhood. Our memory usually on remembers peaks and the end rather than averages and I suppose in this regard I am lucky. I crave that vast middle of experience and can remember it.

Over dinner on Saturday, the server asked how we were and I gave my standard response of a slightly loud, slightly excited “ok”. A dinner companion glared at me and said “after today you can only muster an ‘ok’?” She was right in her joking indignation. My emotional half-life from peaks seems to be faster than most but a slightly longer lingering period. In 2009, Pat, Joe, and I took a camping to Acadia National Park that I still ruminate on fondly. While considering it, I will have a notable improvement in my mood assuming I can prevent myself from falling into the trap of “so why haven’t you done it again?” and I remember both the interesting bits like meeting CJ and the more quotidian aspects of lounging in the campsite. This extended weekend provided me with about a dozen of those memory touchstones. I’m curious which I will often call upon and which will fall away.