First, a little music to set the mood. Go ahead and hit play and listen as you read.
I felt a sense of sadness yesterday. It wasn’t a depressing sadness though; it was more of a comfortable content sadness. It came to me as I was walking across our humongous office building passing rows and rows of cubicles. I had a realization that most of these people were likely not living their dreams. I don’t know of many that dream of sitting in a cubicle all day. Perhaps they are doing work they like, but I felt that many of them are not. I was talking to someone at work the other day, and found that he had been working her for over 20 years. I commented that he must like working here. The response was a shoulder shrug and “It’s a job.” I suspect that is the general feeling of many here, and probably in most large companies.
That brought me to a sadness. I’m new here, so everything is still very interesting to me. I’m learning some new things and meeting new people. And, for now, I’m doing exactly what I want to be doing. I know this from my defining clarity a few months back. So for me to be happy and everyone else to be merely comfortable at best, I found a feeling of comfortable sadness washing in.
As I left the building and started the long walk to the parking lot, it was raining. Raining hard as it often does in Florida. I popped up the umbrella and headed to my car. I got soaked during the walk, and my thoughts wandered to the rain. Many people dislike rain, but I’ve always like it. I often see people crowded around the exit doors when it’s raining and I think to myself, “It’s just water.” It’s funny how people try so hard to stay dry, especially when they are heading home and can find a dry set of clothes upon their arrival. My head stayed dry under the umbrella, but my feet and legs got soaked in the downpour.
As I was pulling out of the parking lot I tuned the XM radio to Cinemagic, a movie theme song station. I always hope to find a good song playing there, because the songs bring back images of great movies. On this day, as I exited the parking lot, songs from “American Beauty” were playing. These particular songs bring me to a place of content sadness. The instrumental music reaches deep and portrays a very somber tone. I think back to the movie and how sad everyone was, and how sadly the movie ended.
It felt good to wallow in the sadness for a bit. I don’t often let sadness in, yet to do so from a content perspective feels good on occasion. I let it linger for a bit as the music played and the rain beat down on the windshield. It felt good to combine all these elements of sadness; the forgotten dreams of people at work, the wonderfully sad songs, and the sights and sound of the rain as slowly changed from pelting to a light drizzle.
When I arrived at home, the sadness had passed and I was happy to be home. Just as I walked in the door, the power went out. I took note of the hint, and took the family outside to walk around the block, and hopefully find some neighbors outside to chat with. My daughter was excited at the possibility of seeing her friends and playing with them. A funny thing happens when the power goes out. A lot of people go outside. I felt for some it was from a perspective of “there’s nothing else to do.” For me it was an exciting opportunity to spend an evening outside with family, friends, and neighbors. I knew the message for me; tonight is not a night for computers or blogs, but rather for interaction with others and with nature.
I heard a funny thing mentioned a couple of times. People were wondering how they were going to eat. I found this odd since most folks in our neighborhood have natural gas stoves not affected by the power outage. Sometimes I think we get too wrapped up in our comfort and technology. I was a little excited at the potential of cooking by candlelight. As the night grew dark, we made our way back home, and just as we did the power came on. I opted to turn on the lights and cook dinner in the manner I have become accustomed. I also opted to spend the rest of the evening enjoying my family rather than jumping on the computer and writing.
All in all, it was a great day. A comfortable content sadness and an evening outside among friends.