On my 80th birthday, some years ago, I realized that I was as happy as I’d ever been. How could that be? Maybe because I was in love. I not only loved Sylvia but I was in love with her. Still am. Being 80 and in love has got to be worth a lot of happiness points. Another factor is that our four kids turned out so well. In fact they are among the finest people I have ever known. (The grandkids are fine too but they are still a work in process. I haven’t been able to figure out millennials yet.)
But I think there is more to my happiness than love and respect. One of my birthday gifts was a book that our daughter Jill created and had published. It is a beautiful hard cover piece with loads of photos from across the years and comments from family and old friends. In a sense the book was a gift not only from Jill but from each person who described many of the events, experiences and people of my life. As I read it for the first time, and every time since, I had a feeling I was looking back on my life and I liked what I saw. Perhaps the ultimate of happiness is to be at the end of one’s life, looking back and saying, “You know it hasn’t been bad.”
So I’ve created a Looking Back page for the MichaelsThinkPieces blog where I will look back on the events and experiences of my life and people I’ve encountered. It won’t include accomplishments, positions held, opinions, advice, or even thoughts. Those are the substance of other pages of the blog. The page might sustain the happiness I feel. It might borrow from comments made by friends and family in Jill’s book. Others are invited to make contributions, but I’m not inviting them to. We’ll see how it goes. As always, I write mostly for myself.