I was watching the Super Bowl a few months back in February. And my girlfriend and I prepared a wonderful spread of things to eat. Muenster cheese. Celery sticks. We even made our own homemade bleu cheese dipping sauce! We ordered pepperoni pizza from the local pizza place down the street. And we drank a little bit of champagne to boot. We had ourselves a ball.
On top of that, we watched an awesome football game between the Kansas City Chief and the Philadelphia Eagles on our comfortable soft plushy sofa in front of a big screen smart TV. It was comfortable and enjoyable from start to finish and I really cherished the experience.
Everything was great. And there is obviously nothing wrong with that. We had the food. We had the company. We had the entertainment. Modern life truly has advanced significantly throughout the ages and we as human beings really get to appreciate so much enjoyable things at the drop of a hat.
I am blessed right now, and I will probably savor this for as long as I can until the next inevitable struggle comes along to knock me down the floor. Honestly, sometimes I still feel like I need a little bit of struggle. A little bit of challenge to keep me on my toes. I need to stay lean and healthy – both physically and mentally. I can’t allow too much excess of pleasure within my system neither – no matter how wonderful it feels at the moment.
Sometimes, I need to go to the gym and work up a good sweat on the stair machine. Sometimes, I need to lift some heavier weights in order to build more endurance and strength. Sometimes, I need to monitor my cognitive thought process to make sure that I am thinking healthy and being healthy.
I need to continue to stay disciplined in my goals and I need to continue to build and grow my skills. I’m not saying that pleasure is bad. Everyone should enjoy the occasional pepperoni pizza or a delicious cake from Martha’s Country Bakery or a nice comfy movie on your couch. Those are all awesome experiences.
It’s just when it gets a little bit too much. When you’re doing it every single day, then it may become a problem. But once in a while, it’s fine and dandy. So, I try to stay careful. I try to stay lean in my thoughts and my activities. I try to continue to shed the excess weight and the excess burden that sometimes still comes along for the ride with me whether I like it or not.
I guess it’s kind of hard to explain. But there’s a sense of enjoyment and pleasure derived from struggle as well. There’s a sense of fulfillment within the so-called pain. There’s some nuggets of wisdom and some silver lining to be gleaned from it all. Pleasure is not necessarily good. And pain is not necessarily bad.
They are just inevitable products of living a life on this planet. When pleasure comes, enjoy it in the moment while it lasts. And when pain comes, embrace the struggle and all the meaning that could come with it.
That night watching the Super Bowl with my girlfriend, I felt really at ease and happy and focused on the experience and the matter at hand. There was pleasure all around me. From food, to company, to entertainment, and I was grateful for it all. At the same time though, I will try not to go out of my way to seek pleasure for the sake of feeling “good”. I will let it come to me naturally and I will embrace it and try not to live a life of excess.
Sometimes, it’s easier said than done. And it’s tricky not to get too attached to the sensation of pleasure and comfort. I’d say that I’m still relatively blessed to have these pleasurable moments here and there. Like watching sports. Enjoying good food. Being around good company. Having so much modern technology at the palm of my hands. Not being homeless. Having enough food on the table. The list goes on and on.
But I will try to continue to grow and improve and remain disciplined in my thought and in my actions. I will try my best to not let the “good” life get too much to my head. I will continue to work hard and work smart, and I will try my best to embrace the next struggle that inevitably comes for me down the pipeline. And sooner or later, it will come.
Savor the good moments of joy. And embrace the darker moments of pain. They are not that much different from each other. And they are both necessary for a fulfilling journey until the end of time.