I am reading a new-to-me book right now. 1000+ Little Things Happy Successful People Do Differently. It is by Marc & Angel Chernoff. It is a series of articles, quotes, and thought provoking questions. Some of it is very repetitive – I’ve read the same paragraph, with just a little difference, at least three or four times now, in different chapters. Considering how repetition is so important in retention, this is actually a good thing.
One of the pages is titled “Happiness questions to make you think.” One of the questions is “What is your happiest childhood memory?” When I read that, I had three memories flash through my mind, almost simultaneously. One of those memories was of the times my mother told us bedtimes stories. She TOLD us stories, she seldom read to us – at least, not that I remember. I am a storyteller today, and I attribute a lot of my skill to listening to my mother as a child. I loved those bedtime stories.
The other two memories both involved my sister. I found that very interesting. You see, usually when I think of my sister and my childhood, I tend to think of sibling rivalry, resentments, favoritism (we both thought the other was the favored child), fights – a lot of negatives. I am not used to thinking of childhood memories of my sister in connection with happiness.
So when TWO of my three happiest memories involved my sister, I was surprised, to say the least. I enjoyed remembering those times.
We lived out in the country. Our nearest neighbors were half a mile away, on either side of us. We had grass that, when we were much younger, literally grew above our heads, and even as we grew taller, it was still chest and waist high. We used to play hide and seek in the grass. We created tunnels and secret passageways. We played house. I can remember flattening a section of grass and putting towels down on the ground and sunbathing together, with grass walls rising around us. Playing in the tall grass with my sister, and sunbathing with her, is one of my happy memories.
The other one? We had a lake. Our dad built a floating platform out in the middle. When we got older, mom would (reluctantly) let us go down together to swim – without obvious adult supervision. And I remember skinny dipping in our lake with my sister. We didn’t do it often, but that is one of the happy memories of my childhood.
And that third memory? Of mom telling us stories? Well, for a long time, we shared a room – so my sister was part of that, as well.
Wow. “What is your happiest childhood memory?” Three memories flash through my head. My sister is in all of them.
Sometimes I think that we get stuck in the pain of the past, and forget the happiness that we had, as well. I’m glad that I had this reminder of some of those happy times.
I love you, sissy. Thanks for the good memories.