"None are so old as those who have outlived enthusiasm."
~Henry David Thoreau
"Nobody grows old merely by living a number of years. We grow old by deserting our ideals. Years may wrinkle the skin, but to give up enthusiasm wrinkles the soul."
~ Samuel Ullman

There is something oppressive in the relentlessly genteel. Constant maintenance of measured and even decorum is corrosive to our spirits.

To be jubilant when you are jubilant, to laugh unmuffled, to shriek with excitement when you are bubbling over, to hug your friend close to your heart when you have that flash of love for her, to say unequivocally in the meeting “Yes! Let’s do it!” and not wait to see what everyone else thinks first. All of these are examples of enthusiasm and they are the green sprigs of life pushing through the sidewalks of civilized society. They make no apology.

There is something brave and heartwarming about enthusiasm. It’s not holding back. It’s not keeping something in reserve just in case others don’t agree. Enthusiasm is a relief. Even to those whom it startles. When it is genuine, it is a ray of sunshine.

I wonder…
Is it possible that our frustrations come not from something outside of ourselves that did or didn’t happen, but from the mere holding back of our own self expression, our own enthusiasms?

Release the dam on your enthusiasm and you help loosen those internal bindings.

What about youwhat are you enthusiastic about? When do you feel the most free to be your open, joyful, silly, enthusiastic self? When do you feel the most stifled?

Some sources of enthusiasm:|
*For her enthusiasm for her little girls and for writing
*For her enthusiasm for expressing the beautiful and poingnant achiness, that shiny pebble at the heart as we see time march forward even as we drag our feet to slow it down.
*For her unwillingness to hide her pain, her enthusiasm to be real in the most challenging of times and to let us know that it is part of life.
*For her enthusiasm for the table and sharing stories of food and friends and family.
*For her enthusiasm for Happiness and also for this post about enthusiasm

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