This weekend I got the heck out of here. I look back on my posts from this week, and while they were true in emotion, thats not what I am or who I am all the time. In fact, I am not that person 99% of the time. Me…I am a very very happy person. I have amazing friends, amazing family, and an amazing place to work where the people there are surely becoming part of my life. (Shout out to all of you Lululemoners, I appreciate everything you have done for me). Today’s post is about happiness.

I went with one of my best friends this weekend to Dodge Ridge, just the two of us, so we could go relax, breathe, soak in life and have a good time. There are not many people in this world that can make me laugh like Greg can. I feel like I can act like a complete idiot around him, which is very healthy. I was still rattled by this week when I got in the car, but four hours of nonstop talking, intermixed with rapping to songs on the radio, combined with pure laughter got us to Tahoe. Stocked with more beer than at Octoberfest, junk food, and our snowboard gear we headed out.

Months ago Greg was going through a pretty hard time, and I sat down with him every week on the from porch of his house and we just let it all loose. Everything and anything came out of that guys mind, and you know what resulted of this, he healed right up. Its really funny hearing some of the same things you told your best friend months ago. I know I for certain forgot some of the things I said to him, but having them spit back at me really was an awakener. At the sight of snow, my favorite thing in this world, I started to get antsy and my heart was pounding with excitement. The first real excitement I had had about anything in a week. We get to the house, shovel unreal amounts of snow to get in, and implement our own personal cooler system. Yes ladies and gentlemen, that is called “MANgeneering & problem solving” Damn did that snow keep those puppies cold.

We cooked dinner, and sat at the table, talking, enjoying everything, laughing, joking, spitting out our traditional Hemingway and Churchhill accents accompanied by “True Grits” Marshall Cogburn and LaBeouf impersonations. Just so you know, I am Hemingway and Cogburn interchangeably. We watched movies, drank more, and just lived in the moment. This past week, I hadn’t had any glimpse of living in the moment. I woke up this morning with a smile on my face. Bright and early, and I think I had worked a lot of things out in my sleep. I made our breakfast (I am a mean cook btw), and was put to the task of clearing Greg’s deck which was knee height in some parts, waist height in others, and neck height in the all of the other places. I set to the task willingly. I shoveled more snow than was on the mountain today. After we packed everything up, we headed to the slopes and I ecstatic at the sight of the lifts. Honest to God, going snowboarding is my favorite thing ever.

I am in the moment, I love reaching down and touching the snow, I love the sound of my breath and the carving under my feet. Even when I wipe out I laugh because I am having that much fun. Not many people get to see me like that. But plain and simple, I love snow. After a full day of snowboarding, and wearing myself down after one of the most insanely powdered Double Black Diamonds I have ever had the chance to ride, we headed home and here I am, smiling while I am writing this post. I know there has been a lot of description of what I did this weekend, and not a lot of relating to happiness, but thats part of the key to my writing today…living in the moment for me is happiness.

But heres what I learned about myself this weekend. Greg looked me dead in the face while we were driving up there and recited by heart a poem by Robert Frost “Nothing Gold Can Stay.”

Nature’s first green is gold,

Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leafs a flower; 
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden Sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.

I sat there stunned and didn’t say anything for a few minutes. That poem hit me like a truck. I see things pretty well now. What Frost is saying is that change is going to happen whether we like it or not. We must remember that the sun always will go down at the end of the day. Sometimes in our lives we try to stop the sun from going away for as long as possible. But the darkness always comes. However, never to forget, that the sun will shine again. That is the important part. Our lives will always have very sunny moments, and always very dark moments, but we must expect this to happen. It will happen despite our wishes. The only thing we can expect as certain in life is that there will be change.

That is the first thing I learned to accept this weekend. The second thing I learned this weekend was that the people who really love and care about you will always be there to help you out when you need it, no matter what. I needed a little help after this week, and Greg if your reading this, thank for helping me out. On our drive back, he slammed on the breaks and turned off the road and we parked out in the middle of nowhere, got out of the car, sat on this makeshift dock, and just talked for half an hour. That, in its finest is living in the moment. What came of this was one really peaceful outcome for the both of us. “If it is going to happen, then its going to happen, and if it doesn’t happen, it won’t happen.” From now on, whenever I am struggling to understand or to accept, I am going to remember that little patch of the road where we parked and came to peace with everything. As Frost said, we have to expect change. However, the sun will rise again. 

I sit here before you a happy man. Things didn’t look to good for a while, but like snowboarding down that double black diamond, if you fall down, get right back up and enjoy life. You are going to keep falling down, but trusting that you are strong enough and having the courage to get back up is the most important part. For me now, I have picked myself back up, still covered in snow, and getting back to me. 

Evan Sanders
The Better Man Project