Saturday, April 9, 2005

Finding joy in the goofy and the happy

Published April 9, 2005
St. George Spectrum & Daily News

A very good friend of mine has a daughter who celebrated her 16th birthday a week ago today. In the grand tradition of 16 year olds, Charly has decided the time has come to trade her after school time for a hard earned paycheck and get a job.

Filling out an application, she came upon a series of lines meant for personal references. As you know, a reference should be someone who is not a family member, knows the applicant well, and can attest to his or her skills and positive attributes as a potential employee. A reference can make or break an applicant in some jobs.

And whom did she choose to fill this challenging and illustrious role, do you ask? Why, me.

What a feeling! Out of all the people in all of Southern Utah, she picks ME! How cool is that? I, Sarah Wilson, have the honor and responsibility of speaking to the abilities and strengths of Charly, a teen on her way to a bright future surely filled with fame and fortune.

I can see Charly now, standing tall in a shimmering dress, beautiful face aglow as she clutches her Oscar or Emmy or Tony, as the case may be. Just before the orchestra cuts her off she'll say, " And I'd like to thank Sarah Wilson for believing in me and giving me the start I needed that got me here today."

Okay, so maybe I'm getting a little carried away here (just a little). In the interest of clarity, I will explain. Charly's request is what I lovingly refer to as a "Goofy Happy Thing."

A Goofy Happy Thing is anything in life that is completely mundane to the average person but has the effect of creating spontaneous, silly excitement in you. In other words, a normal person might feel slightly flattered at being asked to serve as a reference for a kind and capable teen. Ask me, and I'm instantly skipping down the street without a care in the world.

You may think this is a phenomenon specific to me, but I challenge you to look closely at your own life. We all have our Goofy Happy Things. If more people recognized the goofy and the happy in life, the world would be a better place.

If you're having a hard time finding your own Goofy Happy Thing, I'll let you borrow a few of mine for now, namely: Finding pieces of cereal stuck together in my bowl; winning a particularly difficult game of Minesweeper (expert level, if I do say so, myself); finding someone who has actually heard of the Hall and Oates song, "Sara Smile;" pink footed pajamas on a three year old.

Oh, and fan mail that includes chocolate...lots of chocolate.