I’ve been hibernating. Actually, cyber-hibernating. Haven’t been blogging for a couple of months because my brain sort of shut down after the Forgotten Carols tour this year and it’s taken longer than I expected for it to re-boot.
I chuckle because I just took Lynne’s computer in to MacDocs for some repair work. A new video card and more ram was needed to get it operational and while I was there I thought how great it would be if I could just leave my brain there for a few days. ”Ahhhh, here’s the problem. Poor fellow has a chip missing.” And that would be that. But alas, no such luck. Silicon Valley doesn’t make my kind of chips.
When I started this Mission To Be Happy Web Site…or is it blog spot?…on January 1, 2010 I decided to write about where I found a meaningful happiness pretty much everyday for a year. I sort of hoped it would help people get interested in my little M2B:) book/CD which had just been released. I imagined that if my “mission” caught on with others I could do a little tour, singing the songs, sharing the stories and then at the end of the year I’d expand the franchise to do, “Mission To Be Happy in Marriage” or “Mission To Be Happy in Parenting” etc. etc. But a couple of things caught me by surprise. The public reaction and my own.
As for myself, I didn’t realize the relentless nature of writing about happiness, in an authentic and meaningful way, every day. It was always bedtime and I was reviewing my day and deciding which moments corresponded with which chapter and song from my book. Then, I tried to find a way to write about it honestly enough to be true to the spirit of my “mission”, but also interestingly enough that it would be worth the time it took to read and/or respond. I kept going to bed later and later just trying to get the description of the day’s discovery right. Some days were better than others. Sometimes the writing seemed way less happy than the experience itself, and other times, just the opposite. But, by doing it so consistently I kept track of 2010 for posterity to remember me by.
I was happy to have received some encouraging feedback from those who read my daily entries, though I was disappointed that it didn’t fuel the fire for my book. In fact, in the almost thirty years I’ve been writing songs and stories, Mission To Be Happy seems to have reached fewer folks, and with less connection than anything I’ve ever done…by a factor of 5. Translation: My publisher announced that after 6 months it was being permanently assigned to the sale bin, and in less than a year on the market it would be out of print.
“But what about all the cool ideas I have for sequels to M2B:)? M2B:) Midst International Turmoil and Revolution? Or M2B:) When Gas Hits $5+ Per Gallon? Or, perhaps the most exciting, M2B:) When You Don’t Know What To Actually DO With All That Gold You’ve Been Buying?”
All anyone could say was, “You know, sometimes book ideas work and sometimes, not so much. Let it go, Michael…it just wasn’t a Chicken Soup for the Soul idea.”
“But the Chicken Soup for the Soul series didn’t have my upbeat and enlightening songs accompanying the books.”
That was it. End of conversation. The M2B:) franchise idea was pronounced dead. Resurrection unlikely. So now what? Do I stay on my mission to be happy, sing my songs and forge ahead, alone, as an ambassador of an approach to finding happiness that’s worked well for me, or release myself and see if the URL HappinessTakesTooLongAndIsExhausting.com is available? Which will it be?
Well, as Jack Benny famously said, “I’m thinking it over.”