To my son Tommy,
Did you ever have a great stretch? I had one of those just this morning. You know, the type that your body creeks and cracks and groans and it just feels really good. And I looked at myself in the mirror, looked at my old face, the face of the person you now are calling "forty dad", and I said, "Man, that was a good stretch! I really needed and enjoyed that!"
The words were hanging in the air of my inner dialogue at that moment. "Enjoy" and it dawned on me that the stretch, in and of itself, didn't bring me joy. It was acknowledging and actively appreciating how good of a stretch I just had that brought me joy. Yeah the stretch made my body feel better, and I am sure my muscles and bones were thankful, but joy is in the heart and joy is in the mind.
So often in this world we wait for an event to bring us joy. However, you can't just sit back and wait. You have to acknowledge the good in your life. You have to actively appreciate the good in your life. You have to choose to have joy over what you have and what surrounds you.
When they say, "Take time to smell the roses", it isn't the scent of the rose that brings you joy. It is the taking the time to do it and consciously, actively being present in that moment. That is when you enjoy something. That is when you realize you are enjoying it. And you can't have joy in your life if you don't realize joy.
That is one of my big dreams for you my son. I want you to have joy in your life. I want you to be joyous and appreciative for what you have and even what you don't have and all the beautiful moments surrounding you. I have been asked before, "Aren't you having any fun?" and when I respond yes, they retort, "You should let your face know". To that I add that you should let your mind and your heart know as well. Don't sit around and wait for joy to strike you, choose to realize joy in your everyday life.
Sincerely with love from your dad,