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A Moment With Bill: A New Series About the Joy Of Life
Introduction of a New Series
I have grown tired of SEO, that albatross that sits squarely on the necks of writers in the year 2013. I have grown weary of plugging in search-friendly words and phrases in hopes of pleasing the Google gods and keeping them mollified. This article is a declaration to the computer world that they can take their Panda and shove it.
I am a writer. I have a passion for writing. I do not have a passion for SEO, and as of this moment I really don’t care what the braintrust behind the various search engines think. I am a writer and I am going to write.
This is my new series. It will reach as many people as it reaches, without the benefit of keywords and the Ouija board. This is just a writer reaching out to readers, expressing how he feels, just as it has been done for hundreds of years. If this style was good enough for Hemingway, then it’s good enough for me. Hell, Hemingway wrote in obscurity for years, so he and I have a great deal in common, and I find comfort in that fact.
This series will be about life. Consider it my tribute to people like Will Rogers who spun old-fashioned philosophy about life in a language millions could understand. This is just old friends getting together and discussing important issues like love, compassion, integrity and friendship.
Pull up a chair and get comfortable. Kick off your shoes if you like; there will be no formalities here. I’m glad you stopped by and I look forward to many discussions. The bathroom is down the hall on your right, and there are snacks in the fridge if you get hungry. Everyone serves themselves here.
Good Memories Are My Foundation
"The teacher asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I said happy. She told me that I didn't understand the assignment. I told her she didn't understand life." John Lennon
Isn’t that a great quote? Talk about breaking life down to its barest essentials.
I have spoken often about my father, a man who influenced me more than any other human being during my lifetime. I have praised him every chance I have gotten in my writings, but there was one time he wounded me with his words and I have never forgotten it.
I don’t remember the circumstances, but I know I was about ten or eleven years old at the time. Something had happened that had my dad quite upset. It could have been the car breaking down, or some other repair bill that would seriously hurt our meager budget. All I know is he was not in a good mood at that time. I had been out playing with the neighborhood kids, and I came into the house for a snack. I was whistling a happy tune and laughing about something one of my friends had said. Dad obviously did not feel it was a time for laughter because he walked into the kitchen where I was preparing my snack and he told me, “goddamn it, Bill, sometimes you are just too damn dumb to understand that life is not always a trip on the Merry Go Round.”
Yes, it hurt and yes, my dad was wrong. It’s not that I don’t understand that times are occasionally tough. It’s that I don’t choose to wallow in self-pity and unhappiness. Big difference!
Like John Lennon, I just want to be happy, and for most of my life I have chosen to be so.
Of Course There Are Tough Times
Hell, folks, I’ve had my share of those tough times. There was a span of about twenty years when I couldn’t find happiness with a bushel basket. I was continually getting in my own way. If there was a wrong turn to be taken then you could bet the farm that I was going to take it. Alcoholism was my lover during those twenty years, and happiness simply was not in the cards for this boy. I had forgotten some very simple rules, and I was miserable.
It was a long road back. The demons that had haunted me for so long did not go quietly back into a closet. They had to be paraded front and center. They had to be faced down, called out for what they were, and recognized as poisonous to my life. Personal demons are bullies of the worst kind, and like all bullies everywhere they must be confronted and dealt with.
I am proud to say that I dealt with my bullies and today I am free. The ghosts of the past are merely reminders now of a life I will never return to. Today that ten year old boy is back stronger than ever, and he is embracing happiness and smiling his butt off as he goes through adulthood.
One man's journey to happiness
- Live Simple: Saying Goodbye To A Life That Was No Longer Working
For my health and well-being I began to change my life. I had to ask myself what is truly important and what is just fluff?
Are You Happy?
Yes, it is a very basic question. Are you happy with your life? Do you get up every single day and realize what a gift you have been given? Do you smile and laugh often? Do you feel like a kid in a candy shop?
If you answered no then it might be time to take a look at your life, because you only get one shot at this journey. I guess we need to ask why you are not happy. What is there about your life that is keeping you from shouting in joy? That question calls for a very personal answer. For some it might be a struggling relationship. For others it might be lost dreams or lost hopes. Maybe you took a detour and can’t find your way back. Maybe you think that happiness is an illusion and not attainable for you.
Once you have answered that question then you need to find a way to change that which is preventing you from happiness.
I know, that seems to be a trite over-simplification, but I believe it to be true. With the exception of those who are clinically depressed or those who are suffering from some other psychological problem, happiness is a choice, and you can make that choice or not.
I have written before about two special people in my life. One is a former student who was born with Spina Bifeda, and the other is my best friend who has Alzheimer’s Disease. They each have more than enough reason to be unhappy, and yet spend time with them and you will come away smiling and energized. They will tell you that life is good, and if they can say that then anyone can.
A Moment with Bill
I do not give advice unless it is asked for, and then only if I have experience to back up my opinion. I have known far too many people who spout off about any subject but have not lived the words they are speaking, and I find them to be bores of the worst kind.
I do not give advice now. I am simply saying that life is too damn short to live it in a state of unhappiness. Is that all there is? Are we just born, subjected to decades of misery, and then we die? I refuse to believe that. I am on this planet to love and to be happy. I was born on this huge playground and I plan on experiencing every ride on that playground, and I will hold on tight and shriek with happiness.
I will smell the flowers and listen to the birds. I will surround myself with positive, loving people and I will be filled to overflowing with their love. I will wake up each day knowing that it may be my last, and I will fly down straight-aways and screech around curves like my tail is on fire, because this is my one and only shot at this thing called life.
Today, my friends, I choose to be happy.
P.S. I hope you enjoyed this initial installment of “A Moment With Bill.” If you are a writer, I wish you the best of luck finding your voice and your niche in this competitive world. I would hope that you don’t compromise your talent in order to fit into this internet world. The living, breathing world needs writers, so be proud of what you do and be the best that you can be.
2013 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)