Memories to happiness provide us with a reason to smile

Set in 1968, the popular television dramedy “The Wonder Years” followed young Kevin Arnold as he struggled through the awkwardness of puberty – narrated by his much older and wiser self. 

When the series wrapped up in the early 1990’s, the final narration went something like this: “Growing up happens in a heartbeat. One day you’re in diapers, the next day you’re gone. But the memories of childhood stay with you for the long haul. I remember a place, a town, a house, like a lot of houses. A yard like a lot of other yards. On a street like a lot of other streets. And the thing is, after all these years, I still look back…with wonder.”

Today I might not be able to figure out simple algebraic equations, but I do remember puppy breath while holding a two-pound Yorkshire Terrier on our way home from the pet store. Being able to correctly answer any of the questions on “Jeopardy!” is always a challenge, but I’ll never forget the nervous feeling in the pit of my stomach on the day I got married to my wife.

There’s a very good reason why some moments in our lives stand out more than others and American actor and composer, Oscar Levant says it best: “Happiness isn’t something you experience; it’s something you remember”. 

The brain is a miraculous organ – retaining even the smallest, sometimes the most minute details. I guess as long as we have the ability to remember people, places and events, we’ll always be able to hold on to a part of our lives that may no longer exist. To find a little happiness when we need a reason to smile.

“Memory is a way of holding onto the things you love, the things you are, the things you never want to lose.” – From the television series “The Wonder Years”