The Scene: a suburban community center meeting room, 40-some, 40-ish adults sitting in rows of folding chairs. I stand up and say “Hi, I’m David.” The group responds “Hi, David.”
I continue: “Like many of you, I was just sitting there watching the final performances of American Idol, not really wanting to get off the couch, when it happened. Glee happened. An hour later I was irrevocably hooked. I was in. I was smiling and laughing out loud (and on a Tuesday!). I was downright gleeful. If the first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem I’m here to say I have a big problem: I’m in love with Glee!
Applause and a chorus of encouragement from the group – “Way to go, David!” “Thanks for your courage!” “Stay strong, man!” “You can do it, David !” “We’re here to help.”
How many of us are there? How many of us are wondering: can I really have been the target audience for that show? Really? How did they know? Honestly, I’m not sure how good the show even is, I’m also not sure I really care. I just know how it made me feel and I liked that feeling a whole lot. (Major caveat: I was/am a massive choir/musical theater geek so this is not an “ex-jock to show choir,” Conversion-of-Saul kind of thing).
The show made me realize how jealous I was of the “tweens” and their “High School Musical” hey day. I kind of liked the first one, but I couldn’t admit it, no way. But not this time. This time I’m speaking out. The damn show just hit all the right notes with me. (That was awful.) It made me smile and it made me laugh and it reminded me of all of the creative, youthful energy that’s still in me, in all of us, looking for a way out. That’s worth a lot.
Where’s the glee? A friend posted a comment about her joy in watching her child play on a trampoline. Bouncy glee. My son hit an inside-the-park-home run on Monday night. Major league glee. We host an annual badminton tournament. Champagne-soaked glee. My daughters jumping into the swimming pool. Mid-air glee. My wife completing the breast cancer 3-day. Making a difference glee. Two friends are completing MBAs next month. Completion glee. A friend is inspired by Tom Petty. Free fallin’ glee.
And, as I sit here thinking of these examples I find I’m falling short. I’m not even scratching the surface. It’s out there, I know it is. But there’s something in the way of finding it and feeling it as easily as I did when I was 16 or 6 or whenever. Too serious. Too much work. Too much responsibility. Too much self-importance. Too much furrowing of the brow.
I just want glee. More of it, more often. And I need your help. Where’s your glee? Do a little inventory and let me know, would you? Let’s inspire each other.
(Oh, and you can watch the first episode of “Glee” on fox.com all summer long – check it out!)