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The Unexpected Joy of Motorcycle Riding

I may have to add an asterisk to the saying that buying things can't make you happy. I bought a motorcycle, and I'll be damned if it hasn't made me one percent happier than I used to be. Then again, we all know that spending money on experiences can make you happy. A motorcycle isn't just a vehicle to move you from place to place-- it's an experience every time you ride it.

My brother has loved motorcycles for as long as I can remember. So has my uncle. But despite "the disease" obviously mixed up in my blood, I never really thought twice about riding a motorcycle. It was sort of like stamp collecting to me-- something other people do, and obviously derive some sort of pleasure from, but I hadn't given it more than a passing thought.

Last December, for some reason or another, I thought that it would be novel for all of my vehicle registrations, inspections, licenses, etc. to be legal and up to date. I drove my RV back to Texas to renew the registration and get inspected, made sure the insurance was current, and paid off old tickets. The only remaining infraction I was guilty of was driving my folding scooter without a motorcycle license, which is required in California.

The Little Things - Considerations About what Truly Matters in Life

On On the Road to Find Out

As a (divorced) father of two children, for me somehow Christmas was a time that made me feel incredibly guilty for the twisted situation I had helped to put my kids in - it was a time to subconsciously ask for their forgiveness by showing them how much I loved them by showering them with things. Remember strolling up and down every isle in Toys "R" Us thinking to myself, "If I was my son...If I was my daughter, what would I want." And the crazy thing is I didn't stop at one toy or 13, if I saw something I thought I'd want at their age, I bought it.

But the real lessons for me in all of this and what inevitably brought an end to the madness was what actually transpired on Christmas mornings when the presents got opened. The first lesson came when my son was three and after he tore the paper off and opened oodles and oodles of gifts, in the end what he was playing with was this huge ball of tin foil one of them had been wrapped in, not one of the dozens of new toys he just unwrapped. The thing that happened which ended the insanity for me a few years later was when my 4 year old daughter, after opening what must have been 30 different things and came to the end of her personal mountain of gifts asked with disbelief, "That's all daddy?"

Finally the light shined on me. The "joy" came not from the quantity or even quality of the gift - the real spirit of Christmas is just being together with the ones you love most. The joy is not in the getting, it's in the giving. A gift I have discovered, is as magical a present for not only the person receiving but equally for the one presenting it. The first step to put out in to the Universe a request for something very special for that special someone, to go out and find something that moves you, it talks to you when you see it on the shelf or your computer screen or a suggestion given to you by a friend. In that object or what ever it is you are giving, you know in your soul it was meant for them. What I have since learned is that even more wonderful than a gift of a thing is to give something of yourself.

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