Was it just good luck? There she was “across a crowded room” as the romantic story always goes. She was absolutely aglow with the fun she was having with her friends. Our eyes met, and we smiled simultaneously. Minutes later I turned, and she was sitting next to me. A year later, we were married by a priest. It was a secret ceremony with witnesses at an Episcopal Church in the middle of the night. Sound easy? It was. And, it’s been easy for decades now. But in the earlier part of my twenties, I was quite embittered, and kicking sweeties to the curb at lightening fast intervals. So what changed? I certainly didn’t suddenly sprout new and improved relationship skills. But now, I did have a growing belief that there could possibly be “Someone” for me. Also, I had figured out it was necessary to be my unabashed honest self, and that within me there actually beat a heart (!) capable of leading the way. She was right there too. We were both ready. It was a good start, but why is it that the decades have been piling up? Maybe it’s because we not only love each other deeply, but we found “True Like”. Apparently, there’s a lot to be said for natural compatibility. You could count the fights we’ve had on one hand. So when people ask how we’ve lived so happily together for so many years, I just say, “It’s because we both like the toilet paper rolling in the same direction”. Wishing you love….
Whoa! 2018. Seriously? Sometimes it feels like I’m being pole vaulted through time. There’s never enough of it. The older I get the more important it feels not to fritter any of it away. Precious stuff it is, and easy to get stressed out trying to squeeze in everything I want to do. Funny thing though: When I slow down, there seems to be more of it. For example, I recently decided to add another lap to my swimming regimen. Telling myself to “Take it easy, and don’t try to swim too quickly”, I did indeed have plenty of stamina to easily complete the extra lap. I wasn’t even as tired as usual, and much to my surprise, the clock claimed that it hadn’t taken any longer than it normally does! What’s up with that? Does trying to hurry actually slow me down because I’m tense in my effort? Hum-m-m… Maybe trying to go “fast, faster, fastest” doesn’t actually give me more time.
Last night was nearly sleepless, with lists of things to do running through my head, along with startling realizations of things I’d forgotten about entirely (like writing this note to you around the beginning of the month). Sometimes the holidays feel like a fast moving train coming right at me! Fortunately, the rough night prompted me to take time this morning (which it didn’t seem like I could spare) to play with my 8 year old “puppy” Lucille, enjoy the lighted decorations, sip peach tea, absorb the warmth from the fire, and simply breathe in and out. Ahh-h-h-h… Soon, I started to feel the bliss of just being alive. Then came a gratitude list, a meditation, and some heartfelt prayer. It’s good to remember that the spirit of the season is actually about feeling the light and love that surrounds us, fills us, and sustains us. I’m glad I took a time-out from the Holiday Hubbub.
Writing a gratitude list of things for which I’m truly thankful, is always enlightening and uplifting for me. Some of my friends don’t find it so easy. One of them explained that he had too many “You should be grateful”s thrown at him as a kid. He definitely picked up a negative feeling about giving gratitude. There’s an inspirational speaker who talks about appreciation being a better feeling word for most people. Another leader writes about just making a list of things you love. Luckily, it all works for me, and any one of these techniques is sure to rescue me from a funk every time. However, it doesn’t seem like Love & Appreciation Day sounds as catchy as Thanksgiving Day. My personal favorite is Turkey Day. It doesn’t seem to expect so much emotion from us. Just appears to be a day when we’ll all share a giant spread (generally turkey) with family and friends, for which we naturally feel love, appreciation, and gratitude. Of course, we also feel full!