A message from Exalted Queen Mother, Sue Ellen Cooper
“Been there, done that.”
We’ve all said it. So much of life consists of repeated experience. Even enjoyable activities can lose their luster if they’re repeated often enough. We are more likely to find pleasure in novelty than we are in the familiar things. I was thinking about that the other night when I heard the first distant “booms” outside. It was time for the Disneyland fireworks. No big deal; every single summer night at 9:30 a fireworks show occurs high in the sky over the amusement park. Around my house, we’ve been able to set our clocks by it for over 20 years. Although we can watch the entire show from our front window, we never even give it a glance anymore. We’ve been there and done that.
But then I remembered how thrilling fireworks shows were when I was a child. And then I thought about how few chances most people ever get to watch such an extravaganza in the sky. So I put down my book and went to the front window, sat down in the window seat and watched the entire show, trying to experience it as if for the first time.
No, I’m not going to say that I was flooded with the utter delight that I felt watching fireworks once upon a time. But I can tell you that I truly enjoyed it. The vivid colors sprayed across the sky in seemingly random sequence, accompanied by the booms and pops of the different types of fireworks were nothing short of gorgeous. Just when it appeared that the show was over, the sky was spangled anew with a fresh crop of glittering explosions, building to an extravagant finale. It was truly beautiful to watch and I felt a little let-down when the sky reverted to black. What a lovely interlude in the evening. How good it felt to realize that it is possible to enjoy something that I have seen so many times.
Now I’m wondering where else in my life I’ve allowed the “been there, done that” attitude to creep into my psyche. With all of the chaotic, disturbing events going on in our world today, it’s foolish to overlook any opportunity to soak up little bits of joy to cheer the spirit. I’m going to keep a close watch on my attitude. I think it needs an “adjustment.”