Happiness is Totally Lame Excitement

Tuesday, February 5th, 2013

I fold my hands in front of my chest until the referee passes the ball to the shooter. As he dribbles and adjusts his toes along the free-throw line, I raise my arms. I have to extend them all the way or it doesn’t work. I wiggle my fingers, slowly, willing the crowd to be quiet. He aims for the basket and I hold my breath. Shoots. Swish. I scream and clap – about three times, I think – and then turn to Eileen for a double high five. If we get two shots, Eileen and I immediately resume our positions with arms raised overhead.

Sure, it sounds crazy, but it seems to be the only way to ensure that Steven Adams actually makes his free-throw shots.

Eileen and I being ridiculously happy at a Pitt football game last fall.

Eileen and I being ridiculously happy at a Pitt football game last fall.

And this is why I love going to sporting events with Eileen.

Sometimes I feel like it’s not cool to get excited. Twitter reminds me constantly about how lame everything is, from the Super Bowl to the Academy Awards. And while I didn’t get excited about this year’s game and I don’t usually remember to watch awards ceremonies, I lost my freaking mind the year the Packers won. And it was so much fun to care.

It’s fun to let yourself have fun. It’s nice to be silly and to pretend like your slow-motion jazz hands helps a college kid sink his shots. It is, I think, a good thing to let yourself get happily invested in things that you know aren’t that big of a deal.

There is nothing lame about cheers, applause, laughter, or high fives. These outbursts of joy are the very opposite of lame. They are proof that you can surrender to the moment, that you are not above enthusiasm.

I love seeing people get excited. It doesn’t matter if they’re geeking out over a TV show, a craft beer recipe, or an analog synthesizer; passion is a beautiful thing to witness. Passion, joy, enthusiasm, excitement – these are the ingredients for a happy day, and happy days make up a happy life.

If it comes down to a choice, I’d rather be happy than cool.

What do you let yourself get ridiculously excited about?

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  1. daniel says:

    These days I only get geeked out about a few TV shows and every once in a while a movie. I’m taking two of the kids to see the current live touring production of The Music Man. THAT has me excited. Actually, it has me “jazz hands” excited.

    I get immense happiness from taking my kids to the ballpark or sharing with my kids stuff from my past (even wrote a couple of posts about it – including, apparently the one that’s linked to this comment post).

    I made the decision decades ago to be happy rather than cool. Apparently, being happy is cool. Who knew?
    daniel’s most recent post: Movies For Sickness

  2. Megan says:

    I get happy going to fairs and carnivals. I love to ride the rides. I similiarly excited about going to DisneyWorld or other theme parks.

    And just a regular Sunday outing with my guys makes me really happy too, particularly if we are actually doing something like exploring a new area or going to the zoo.
    Megan’s most recent post: Fifty-Two, Week 27: On Being Present

  3. Carly says:

    Dude. My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic. I just discovered it. I loved MLP when I was a kid and I love it still, apparently. But I also get super excited about good thrift scores and will often fail to stifle my out loud enthusiasm in the heat of the moment of finding a treasure. Completing another square foot of floor design taping is also cause for celebration around here.

  4. Lisa says:

    Shoes make me ridiculously happy lately. Mainly because I can finally wear awesome shoes, but also because I feel a little fierce when I’m wearing a particularly badass pair. It’s very strange, I know, but I’m getting the biggest kick out of it.
    Lisa’s most recent post: On the Upside of a Downward Spiral

  5. Naomi says:

    Ridiculously ALWAYS excited about music … concerts, live music, new playlists, new tunes to run to. GEEKS me out! My family thinks I’m nuts. That and helping people.
    Naomi’s most recent post: Box 53b

  6. oh man, for me that basketball game was probably the funnest basketball game since high school. it probably also had something to do with the people i attended with. and the great meal beforehand. but yeah, the people i was with made me laugh so hard, plus the encouraged me to do my jedi mind control trick on all pitt players shooting free throws (a little different than yours, but still it helped, dammit).

    what do i let myself get ridiculously excited about? anything that blows my skirt up at the moment.
    :)
    hello haha narf’s most recent post: Adventure in Tahn

  7. racheal says:

    I get ridiculously excited about silly things too, this morning I got excited because my husband let me steal his cup of coffee and it made me feel loved. So I giggled and clapped my hands. :)

    And sometimes, it’s as simple as a favorite song and an impromptu dance party in my office, or when a deli is serving up warm fresh chocolate chip cookies with no nuts!

    Pinterest crap can also amuse me for hours and just hanging out with friends and family, throwing a dinner party, etc.

    I like my cup half full so even when I look like the weirdo getting excited because they sell Coke Zero instead of Diet Coke at the store, I’m okay with it.

    Being passionately ridiculously optimistic has it’s perks. :P

  8. I get ridiculously excited about EVERYTHING. I’m not even kidding.

    This includes everything to do with Fraggles and Muppets (but not Elmo); candles on the first dark evening and every one after that, frost, high school lacrosse games, Notre Dame football (although lately it seems there’s a dark side to that, I am excited for all the good stuff and the young students who work so hard); helium balloons that last much longer than expected; every hand-written card my husband writes; snapchats with my daughter (who lives in Charleston right now); that her boyfriend calls me Madre; kicking leaves on a dry fall afternoon; watching the Harvest Moon rise; having the phone ring to hear the voice of the person I was JUST thinking of; walking on a salty beach, feeling the wind through my hair, listening to seagulls squawk; meeting an internet friend for real and sharing a hug… the list goes on and on.

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