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“Joy and hope are never separate. I have never met a hopeful person who was depressed or a joyful person who had lost hope…It is important to become aware that at every moment of our life we have the opportunity to choose joy. It is in the choice that our true freedom lies, and that freedom is, in the final analysis, the freedom to love.”

I’m not going to elaborate much on this because it’s self-explanatory or should be. I do want to stress something I talked to Mom about. I’m doing everything in my power to keep you as happy or alternatively, not get in the way of how happy you can and want to be! How you use it is all on you guys. I strive to not lose my temper on the inconsequential, or when you’ve pushed every last one of my buttons. I’d rather laugh and try to make you laugh during those times because generally I’m one happy individual and as the adult and oldest one in the family, I guess I should exercise some maturity and proper perspective! Since I’m no longer as self-absorbed in the first place at the expense of your happiness, I’ve discovered it’s easier to find contentment within my soul through the happiness I create for you.

I’m sure I’m most annoying when I’m “insanely” happy about so many big and little things, most importantly you guys and our dog Dico. Wait! I’m annoying you because I’m happy about, and being with, my family? Something is flawed in that equation but then again, I’m the one with the brain injury. I’m sure I’m a bit much at times, given my penchant for extreme expressions, but maybe you’re not appreciating the source of what’s making me that way! Maybe it’s better not to ask questions and just hitch a ride with me because I’m headed in the right direction now and I’ve got room!

I am truly a shining example of my prior advice. When I think I’ve found a reason to be unhappy or in a bad mood, I easily find 10+ better reasons not to be. You may think its easy to feel this way given the routine of my days but try having the medical community label you as “disabled” and “brain injured”. I refuse to accept it but I have to work hard every day to prove I’m not and I willingly have embraced that challenge! I’m just a guy with a lot of joy and hope, especially since I keep myself surrounded by so many of the expected, and even unexpected, people who keep me that way!

One last thing. I saw a movie with Helen Hunt who is thinking about letting her sarcastic, neurotic boyfriend in her apartment. Before she does, she says “you can come in but please don’t try to spoil everything by being yourself!”

Let’s all try to do the same, huh?