Open Thread April 13, 2011

Open Thread

I’m a bit swamped with life/work today, so consider this an open thread! Regular blogging will commence soon.

We’ll make it a happy one 🙂

Tell us about the happiest time of your life!

(Excluding weddings, birth of children, what you did late last night, and other obvious ones.)

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  • Lai

    Last summer, specifically August to October. Had an AMAZING time at a rather geeky convention (lots of costumes, friends and dancing to be had) then my first holiday in America to the Happiest Place on Earth, Disneyworld Florida.

    If you saw me, I was the woman in the pink vest who cried happy tears of joy when she first saw the Disney Princesses perform on stage in Main Street.

  • Happy Ask and Atheist Day! <- ask me!

    Happiest time? erm… get back to you on that one

  • Hmmm… the day we met Gracie at the shelter. She picked us a little over a year ago, in fact.

  • In a Halloween parade in Edwardsville, Il 2008. I was driving a car behind our new business’ mascot. I had built the costume my best friend was wearing, decorated my car, and gotten a team of friends to pass out candy in t-shirts with our logo. I was so happy to see my idea become something physical and profitable.

  • Hmmm This may sound selfish and materialistic, and I don’t mean for it to, but one of my happiest, most graditude filled, recent moments was when my best friend handed me a birthday card. It was a run-of-the mill type greeting – just from a box. Inside she wrote a note thanking me for my help on a recent project we did together. She went on to say that as a token of her appreciation, she had ordered for me…(then I had to turn to the back of the card)
    …a Kindle.

    I can’t express how connected I felt at that moment, for she has chosen the perfect gift for me, especially in regards to what she and I had done together.

    And of course I downloaded Hemant’s book…

  • Lgirl

    I was 18 and painfully shy in nova Scotia. I landed
    in London UK For a two year college stay. So scared
    I cried Nearly the entire flight. Upon debarking the
    plane Thought WTF? I better make the most of this
    Did a touchdown dance kissed my hand ,touched the
    Tarmac and began the happiest two years of my life!

  • TychaBrahe

    This weekend. Seriously.

    My mother was widowed last autumn. She doesn’t like to travel alone, but had to attend a convention in San Diego, so I went with her.

    I’ve lived in Chicago for three years, and while I love it, I miss California like crazy. I got to see friends, handle some business, and it was beautiful there.

    Best of all, I was granted permission–so I thought–to sit in studio while my favorite radio show was being broadcast. However, when I showed up, they told me they intended to put me on the air. And they did. Not just throwing in random comments about what the host was talking about, but interviewing me for three segments about a volunteer organization I work with.

    It was so much fun! I had such a great time. It was an amazing pleasure to be with the host and the producer, who are both just fabulously smart, funny people. I’m honored that they trusted me to be on the air when I could have been an embarrassment.

    I honestly have not felt so special since 1988, when I worked a teacher’s conference in Southern California that was partially hosted by NASA, and I got my name listed in a NASA brochure.

  • Lori Makes Quilts

    I was out and about with my husband and son doing mundane things and I realized I was completely happy. As a life-long depressive, being happy was an absolutely amazing and rare experience. Circular, I know, but that’s how it is.

  • Silent Service

    The day my wife gave birth to our son. I’ve had a lot of happy moments, but I can’t think of anything that beats that.

  • MrPopularSentiment

    If anyone puts the birth of their children down, I’m going to assume that they’re either lying or suffering from memory loss. The day after, I could believe.

    I’ve been extremely lucky. I’ve had so many happy moments that it’s far too difficult to pick the best. But I’d say my most “at peace” moment, what the religious might call transcendent, was when I was a kid and my mom and I went to Scotland on vacation. We hiked up a mountain and, when we reached the top, the wind started blowing and we could hear it carrying the sound of bagpipes being played down in the valley.

    It was incredible – the sound, the view, the smell of all the plants around us…

    Also, the day after my son was born 😉

  • Rae

    February 2010. I was a volunteer at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver. I was stationed in Whistler, so on days off, I went skiing, and the days I worked, I got to meet amazing athletes!

  • NewEnglandBob

    Right Now! I am still alive! Making my own meaning of life and living it.

    Plus, we just bought a winter home in Florida.

  • Alex

    I’ve been quite lucky, in that it’s hard for me to pick a happiest moment.

    I suppose the best candidates would be the summers I spent hanging out with my neighbor before he moved or any time I’ve been flying.

    There was also one day this past January, I witnessed the most breathtaking sunset I’d ever seen. I was on an area of raised ground (the edge of a parking lot), where I could see for miles. I saw an incredibly deep red sunset, with dark grey and black clouds as a storm came in. I could see the rain coming for miles and the clouds looked like they were on fire. I was cold as hell, as I’d left my jacket in the car, but it was one of the most amazing things I’ve ever seen.

  • Kari

    Last summer when I met Brian May from Queen…and followed him on his lecture tour from Philadelphia to Los Angeles. It was awesome.

  • flatlander100


    You have yet again, it seems, permitted life to interfere with blogging. We have spoken to you about this before. We do not expect to have to do it again.

    Priorities, man. Priorities.

  • several friends and I rode our mountain bikes in nasty foggy, rainy, and cold weather up and down the mountains of northern New Mexico one day. Just as we were ready to stop for lunch we popped out of the clouds on top of Cerro Pelado and the the sun was shining bright. The cloud base below us obscured all but the few peaks taller than our position. We ate lunch listening to the birds chirping and had the sun’s warmth on our faces while we told stories and laughed for a solid hour.

    After lunch we headed back down into the soup and made our way back to the truck. There is a picture of three of us so muddy that we are unrecognizable. I don’t even need to look at that picture to remember that day 10 years ago when we decided to challenge the mountain and the weather and were rewarded with spectacular views, friendship, and one of the best trail side lunches that I have ever had.

  • Cass

    Everyday since the end of January that a certain someone’s name has popped up in my inbox. I am hoping those days will all be trumped by this weekend when we finally get together.

  • SVKanner

    During our honeymoon, my husband and I drove from my parents vacation house (they had loaned it to us) to Wisconsin Dells. The weather was faultless… bright blue sky, puffy white clouds, and driving through all these picturesque green fields, listening to a Cake tape in our shitty little car.

  • Daniel

    Hmm.. no weddings or birth of children? How about a week before one, and two weeks after the other:

    The first, my wife and I took all of our immediate family to Ireland and got married there. Several close friends went as well. We arrived a week before the wedding, rented a bunch of cabins half-way between Cork and Limerick and every morning, the 20 or so of us would meet, have breakfast, and break into groups to go to various locations for the day and meet up at night in the local pubs to talk about where we’d gone. Fun and amazing time with those I love the most.

    The second, two weeks after my daughter was born, the doctors were concerned that the ridges in her skull may not have formed properly. They X-rayed her skull Friday and would call us Monday to tell us whether or not they would need to surgically crack her skull in all the places those seams should have been. The relief of the Monday call that they didn’t need to do so after the stress of the weekend was extremely happy.

  • I have a recurring happiest day. It comes every April, when the first pitch of the baseball season is tossed.

  • Catherine

    As much as I love my city, I’ve been yearning to leave for the past 5 years or so. My happiest day in the past few months was receiving a generous job offer from a prestigious company which involves international relocation!

  • Rich Wilson

    I have to echo the “what’s with the dissing of weddings and births”?

    Trying to think of anything else, the only things that come to mind involve my son. Taking him to the zoo. Taking him to the fair. Reading to him. Doing science experiments with him. Last night I was watching 15 minute best of Hitchslap (again) and that line always gives me chills.

  • Dakota Bob

    When my mother got me Crash Bandicoot 3 for my 7th or 8th birthday. I was happy as hell that day.

  • Meyli

    When my music program went to Disney World in High School. I got to hang out for 5 days with close friends, no parents and their rules (we still behaved!), beautiful weather, and hello its DISNEY WORLD. The whole trip was awesome; nothing went wrong, even when it poured the entire day at MGM. But one portion sticks out:
    Performing on stage. And not just any stage, but a stage the rose out of the floor! The lights, the way we sounded, the crowd…it was so. cool.

  • cut.throat.jane

    the happiest moment in my life was my 18th birthday. This guy I was crushing on real bad was telling me about a concert coming up on the night of the 25th in Tulsa which was funny because my favorite band happened to be playing the same night, same town but at a different venue and my birthday was the 26th. We convinced my best friend to drive us there and that guy ended up holding my hand all the way to Tulsa that day. We got to town, checked into a hotel then we were off. Me and my best friend to go see The Used, my crush and his friend to go see The Devil Wears Prada.

    I got to see my favorite band and buy two new tees and an ep they had just released. When we got back to the hotel it was well past midnight, which meant it was finally my birthday! I ended up falling asleep with my guys arms around me officially making it the best night of my life. The next day we went to the mall, ate at a nice restaurant, and went to the zoo.

    We have tried to make it an annual thing now, go to Tulsa for my birthday and spend way to much money. Oh, did i mention I married that guy? 😀 (that was actually the most recent happiest day of my life)

  • Richard Wade

    I’ve had a lot of very happy days; it’s hard to compare them. A sampling:

    The day I met my future wife. Love at first sight. Really.
    My Master’s art exhibition opening.
    Our daughter’s first word, “fower.” (Looking at a flower)
    Getting my counseling license after 11 years of struggle.
    The day I got my last job.
    The day I left my last job.
    The day Hemant nominated me to write an advice column, and Jeff immediately seconded it.

    Recently, the weekend I flew to Washington D.C. for the Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear. I hadn’t done anything so impulsive and indulgent in many years. It was an exciting, hopeful, positive, optimistic and inspiring adventure, three days of meeting wonderful strangers and awesome friends.

  • Liz the 1st

    The day after I got married, watching fireworks on an almost empty beach.

    My son being born. @MrPopularSentiment sure the whole day before that sucked, but when they first handed him to me his eyes were wide open, looking around. Seeing those big blue eyes made me soooo happy. =]

    And also the first time my son smiled and every time he laughs.

  • Elizabeth C

    The day I successfully defended my honors thesis for my BA. Never the smartest kid in the room, I’d wondered if my thesis was just a bunch of made-up crap, but that morning I was vindicated. I walked back to my college apartment in the beautiful spring weather and felt unstoppably victorious.

  • doglovingirl

    Oh, which to choose???

    The two years I spent in Western Samoa in the Peace Corps, surrounded by coconut trees and blue lagoons and flowers and bananas and papayas, with chickens and pigs wandering around, and boys cutting football fields with machetes, and utterly glorious 4-part singing from local huts every night…

    The three months I spent riding my bicycle across the United States and through Alaska, camping along rivers and lakes the whole way, riding up and down mountains and across valleys and through forests, feeling gloriously high…

    Every time I hear Handel’s Messiah or Mozart’s Requim or Pachelbel’s Canon… utter close-the-eyes-and-let-it-fill-you-up happiness….

    My dogs and husband, the most beloved beings on earth (ahem, not necessarily in that order?) which fill me with joy just being around them …

    I am such a happy girl….

  • Indigo

    It’s hard to identify a specific moment, but last summer when I spent two months backpacking through Western Europe comes very high on that list. I’d never felt so free in my life.

  • i once had a Perfect Day. it might not sound like it, because the day ended stuck in traffic in blazing summer heat on a five hour drive into Chicago. but i was with the love of my life, and we were so perfectly in love that day that everything felt like it was shining. imagine me being picked up and swung around in the sunshine by my love, like giddy romantics in some movie. we had wonderful sex at the end of the day, and as a bonus, that morning my mother, who hadn’t met my love before, was so impressed she actually treated me with respect and dignity (which she never does). Even the cheap coffee at the roadside drive thru place tasted perfect, that day.

  • Annie

    This is tough… I’m going to pick a sunny day last summer, as I took a picture of my husband and daughter on a Ferris wheel in Paris. As I looked into the camera I could hardly take the photo, as it hit me all at once how very fortunate I am to be able to spend so much time with two amazing people I adore.

  • May 5th, 2008–the day I married Nina! Had the wedding at Les Bourgeois Winery in beautiful Rocheport, MO outdoors with an 80’s Retro Dance Party reception!

  • Ali

    I went to the corner store to get some snacks for the weekend ahead. I lived in a downtown apartment, walking to the store that was down underneath a bar. There were and still are a number of homeless who sit right outside, asking for change or mostly, booze.

    While I walked into the store I was stopped by one such homeless man, asking if I had any money. I said I did not, I only had a debit card. He then asked if I could buy him some liquor, I said I would not. He looked slightly defeated, and usually I would have walked away. But instead I asked him if he would like some food. His eyes light up a bit and said he would. I then bought my snacks, while adding a sandwich, chips and a bottle of water to my tab. I went back to the man and gave him the food, and he thanked me so much, with a wide gap tooth smile. He told what a great girl I was and I should have a great day. I went on my way with a lighter heart in my chest.

    Now I don’t presume to say that my buying that man food makes me a saint. It doesn’t even necessarily make me a good person. But the feeling I had after I made that man smile still makes me feel better whenever I feel down. It also helped push me to volunteer my time whenever I can when I am not in classes. If nothing else, I like to think that night was the start of me making a happy day for someone other than myself. And I’m ok with that.

  • Right now is my happiest time. I’m three years out of a miserable marriage, my kids are all grown, employed and reasonably happy themselves. I have an adorable granddaughter. I live alone and love it. I say what I want to say, believe or disbelieve what I want to and enjoy more personal freedom than I’ve ever had in my life.

    Now if I could just find a fella for occasional companionship, life would be perfect.

  • TikiCricket

    I have tears in my eyes after reading through these posts. The joy and beauty expressed is really refreshing. Thank you all for making my (and everyone else’s) day a little brighter. 🙂

  • Happiest day? Too many to count, here; I’m with NewEnglandBob in his sentiment, overall. Nothing like the present.

    But I will share a happy day, that happened a long time ago: The day my dad got out of the hospital after recovering from back surgery, 30 years ago.

    I was only like 7 or 8 years old, so the memory is fairly hazy, and I am sure I have some details wrong. All I do remember from that day was going to a Baskin Robins to get ice cream. My dad ended up getting some large cone with 2 or 3 scoops on it…

    At this point, something you need to know is that my dad always had a pretty severe temper, sometimes over pretty minor things. Well, we got back out to the truck, and his extra scoops fell off and hit the ground. He immediately started cussing. I started to laugh (maybe not a bright thing to do, but I was a kid)…

    Then he stopped, I looked at him, and he smiled, and started laughing too. We got in the truck, ate our ice cream and went home in a good mood.

    My dad passed away in 2005; even though it happened a long time ago, it’s one of those memories and times I cherish.

  • LSD.

  • Chris

    Taking a trip to Hawaii. I’ve never had a lot of money and yet through the generosity of a friend I was able to take a week long trip to Hawaii for about half the cost. I had a wonderful, wonderful time.

  • Scott

    1984 when the Cubs clinched their division and 1986 when the Bears won the Super Bowl. Not much else after that…

  • This gave me a laugh today. Every day should have something amusing, right?

  • Jeebus

    Every day before I entered the work force. I had no worries and very few responsibilities except for school and what I was going to do for fun. I miss those days very much.

  • gloomcookie613

    There are obvious ones like my wedding, but I’ll go with a recent happy moment.

    The moment when I was driving home from the grocery store, the sun setting on the horizon, and realized that I’ve never felt so fulfilled in my life. It took shoveling out all the supposedly fulfilling religious trappings to allow me to feel so fulfilled.

  • Danish Atheist

    I enjoy moments of perfect happiness when I find all of my kids and my husband under the same roof, sharing a nice meal … 🙂

  • cut.throat.jane

    I agree with TikiCricket, reading these has been wonderful!

  • Karen

    I’m having such a crapola day, and reading these really cheered me up. For real. Thank you all for sharing.

  • Flah the Heretic Methodist

    NOT when my son was born. That was unusually horrible.

    My husband and I were fishing at sundown off Matlacha Pass. The clouds were lit up in all colors. The shore birds were standing on a sandbar with their feathers all glowing from the low sun. The dolphins were surfacing all around us, as close as a couple of feet from our boat. Every cast would land a trout or ladyfish — we just hauled them up and threw them back, time and time again. We were laughing and smiling and it was GLORIOUS.

    And that memory was what my husband used later on to get me through the emergency C-section. Him recounting that experience calmed me down and helped me through it.

  • August 15th 2010

    That was the day I ran the Adelaide Marathon.
    It was my first marathon and had been a goal I’d never thought I’d ever achieve.

    Even when I entered, I kept shaking my head, wondering what had possessed me to think I could do it.

    But I kept running and kept training and the day ended up being one of the greatest in my life.

    The run was hard… It was windy as all hell.

    42.2kms were completed in 4 hours 15. A little more time than I would have liked but I still remember that feeling of crossing that finishing line.
    Don’t know if anything can ever top that!

  • Long one, bear with me 🙂

    A few years ago I had the most vivid dream of my life. I had died and I had returned as a ghost. I ended up in my kitchen, where my wife was making lunch. It must’ve been a while after my death as she was chatting to friends and looking happy. I tried to get her attention to no avail. Then I remembered the old tale about animals being able to see ghosts. I saw my dog in the corner of the kitchen and attempted to get her attention; again I received reaction. I tried in vain to contact other people, animals, eventually for a door or exit leading somewhere else, anywhere. Nothing.

    I remember being distraught. This is it? This is the afterlife? Noone can see me and I can’t make contact, even with a dog? I drift about, seeing everyone continue as if I never existed? Usually at such a point one would expect to wake from a dream, but this one was so vivid and real I expected just to remain where I was, floating around my house in misery as everyone else got on with their lives. I was horrified.

    Fortunately (and obviously), I woke up a little later. When I did and realised I was still alive, the sense of relief was so great that when I saw my dog sleeping next to me on the bed I started sobbing with the purest joy I’d ever experienced. For almost an hour I was in complete ecstasy. I didn’t eat, have my coffee, I just lay in the sunny patch in our front hall like my dog did. I wasn’t dead, I wasn’t a ghost, my dog could see me (and was probably wondering what the fck was wrong with me). I was back in my one & only life.

    The entire rest of the day, even though it was just another day at my hated dead-end shift job where I got home after 1am, was a haze of bliss. So glad was I to simply be alive, I spent the next week utterly contented with everything in my life.

    It should be noted that I was reading Neale Donald Walsch’s “Conversations with God” at the time. At the time, I would’ve considered myself a deist. Oddly enough, this combination of the ghost dream and the reading of Walsch’s book was the main catalyst for me deeply re-examining my beliefs and realising that I wasn’t religious, or even spiritual in any sense. My conversation with God and my terrifying dream eventually culminated in me realising, years later, that I was an atheist (and probably had been for longer than I realised).


  • Hugh

    I was living in Dublin, and had a pen-pal in the US who had always wanted to visit Ireland. We arrange to meet up for two weeks vacation to drive all along the West Coast of Ireland. I met her at the airport, and she turned out to be gorgeous, but I was only expecting a platonic friendship, which was fine with me since I really enjoyed her company. We rented a car and took off on our trip. Much to my surprise, we became lovers the very first night, and we enjoyed each other every morning and night after that. Of all the romances I’ve had (not that I’m Casanova or anything), it was the most fun, relaxing and drama-free. We both knew that our time together was short, so we made the most of every minute, both in and out of bed. We saw a lot of spectacular scenery, drank a pint or two in the pubs and heard some great Irish music, laughed a lot, and had a terrific time. Alas, I fell out of touch with her after she returned to the States, but it was a wonderful time and I will always have happy memories of it.

  • Ooh, and then there was the time I smoked some Salvia… I couldn’t stop smiling for weeks after that.

  • ff42

    Yes, it is kinda a cliche. But besides wed, bed, and kid(s), the happiest time of my life was the moment (after a year long study) that I discovered (50 years too late) the the religion of my birth is a fraud.

  • Aparna

    Last winter I spent three months working on a surf movie on the east coast of South Africa. The last three weeks of that film were absolute bliss as we’d shed most of the crew and were chasing surf up and down the coast, wherever there were waves. Winter on the east coast is perfect – clear sunny days, 24 degrees out (75 Fahrenheit) and a light breeze.

    I remember two days particularly vividly. The first was when I (along with some other crew) was bobbing about in the sea on a surfboard, out of sight of land, when two humpback whales breached not too far from where we were. I’d never seen humpback whales and certainly not under those circumstances. It was awe-inspiring and a little frightening, but completely unforgettable.

    The other was a day when we sent the surfers into the water to land a couple of complicated tricks, which left the rest of us twiddling our thumbs on the beach. One of my colleagues pointed out that we were smack dab in the middle of an oyster bed. I learned to pick oysters that day and we ate them right there on the rocks, waves lapping at our feet and I remember thinking I’d never tasted anything more delicious.

    It was a magical time. Some of the people I met on that job have become firm friends and will probably remain friends for life.

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