Rick greeted me by asking, “How are you?” I replied, “Bright-eyed and bushy-tailed.” The old idiom just popped out of the mouth without any forethought. My friend laughed at the unusual response then he asked why I felt so cheerful.
First of all, I had just awakened from a short nap. Second of all, I had enjoyed a nearly perfect cup of coffee. Thirdly, the clouds had parted to accent the morning’s mild temperatures with calm wind. My mood was quite upbeat and I felt like smiling at everybody.
The next day, when I greeted Rick, he replied, “Bright-eyed and bushy-tailed.” We both chuckled over his response.
It was fun to partake in this personal mini-revival of the cute little idiomatic phrase. The allusion to a squirrel was apt. My use of it was probably prompted by watching one of the neighborhood squirrels as he scampered around the lawn earlier that morning. It seems like squirrels are always eager and alert, ready for anything.
If we mindfully look around us, we discover many reasons to feel gratitude and joy. Pondering their natures and reflecting upon how amazing life can be, energizes one’s mood. The same can be said about being with a good friend and sharing simple pleasures together.
Perhaps there was a deeper motive to cherish a few moments with Rick that day. He is in the final stages of wrapping up his business dealings here in Norfolk. Rick has decided to relocate to his old hometown, Omaha. He was born and raised there, plus job opportunities are more abundant in Omaha than in “out-state Nebraska”. I want to enjoy our face to face interactions before our communications become primarily electronic.
Another reason I feel energized around Rick is that he is a self-motivated young man. A couple of years ago, his life-situation had bottomed out due to some very serious scenarios and setbacks. Through counseling and determination, Rick has transformed himself back to his “normal” happy-go-lucky self.
He is almost unrecognizable to acquaintances who only remember him from only a few years ago. Rick is a prime example of someone who has undergone a complete makeover–inside and out. He has always been an energetic person, but now, Rick has added focus to his mix of positive personality traits. It’s inspiring to watch Rick re-launch his life.
There’s not much more to say about being bright-eyed and bushy-tailed because over-analysis of the mood destroys its spontaneous nature. I think this type of positive mental and physical “energy” comes about through rational optimism; tempered by the heat of cynicism; and the ability to mindfully observe one’s surroundings.
To feel bright-eyed and bushy-tailed is to feel energized. It’s the result of a jolt, not a slow-charge.