ex·u·ber·ant/ɪgˈzubərənt/ Show Spelled
effusively and almost uninhibitedly enthusiastic; lavishly abundant: an exuberant welcome for the hero.
abounding in vitality; extremely joyful and vigorous.
extremely good; overflowing; plentiful: exuberant health.
I've been thinking about the word exuberant today. I'm fortunate to know what it feels like to be exuberant, to just be ridiculously happy--in fact, there've been a few times when others have asked me "why I'm soo freakin' happy all the time."
But as I get older (sigh), feeling thrilled-for-practically-no-reason gets a bit tougher. A little while ago, for example, I put on a song I like and started dancing around my bedroom. (I do this a lot.) As I danced, a strange thought popped into my head. I noticed that I wasn't happy enough inside to be dancing quite that enthusiastically on the outside. After all, I've danced before and felt like I was on the MOON! But it's not like I haven't had a decent day, I puzzled to myself. I've gotten work done at home, worked on laundry, blogged.
What can I do, I wondered, to feel the kind of happiness I know I'm capable of? Is there a way to capture it at any time?
So far, the best solution I've discovered is going back to the time-tested tidbits that worked in childhood and basically throughout my life. For me, those include lying in my driveway and looking at trees and sky, eating cereal (my favorite food), calling best friends, listening to songs that carry emotional meaning, reading through old diaries and laughing, or, of course, spending time in Litchfield.
Does this method work for everyone? Have you all tried it? I think that adult contentment is fine--clean laundry and checked-off lists--but I'd rather have that feeling I get when a caterpillar crawls across my pointer finger.