Posted by: ladybughugs | May 29, 2008

Something to think about…

This is a response to LFM’s post of the same name. You might want to go read it first. I’ll wait.

News Flash LFM: You don’t have a ginormous elephant head, he’s got a small head and shaving it accentuates that. I’ve always disliked my long, thin face. I’ve always wanted a wider, bigger head, and thicker, more luxurious hair, and a beautiful, straight smile. Kinda like yours.

Um, would it be inappropriate to say, ‘I told you so,’ here? and that was only six years ago. Twelve years ago you had even more stars in your eyes.

Can I put an extra twelve years on your perspective? Good. Put the wedding album away. We spend a fortune on one perfect moment, on the blissfully happy smiles that gives us the impression that that’s life. It’s not.

You didn’t have to figure out how to pay insanely high gas prices back then. Gas was, like, 90¢/gallon. Your biggest expense was probably either your student loan or your car payment. You didn’t have responsibility to any one or anything beyond getting to work and getting home. At that point you probably wondered what the big deal was about health insurance. Why should I spend money on health insurance? Why should I have money withheld from my paycheck for retirement?

In a best-case scenario life doesn’t hand you more responsibility than you can afford at any given time. Unfortunately, it doesn’t always work out like that. But, with all the added responsibility comes more benefits than you could ever have imagined back then. Yes, you loved your nieces and nephew, but it’s not the same as the love for your daughter. Your nieces and nephew loved you back, but it wasn’t as warm and fuzzy as when your little girl wraps her arms around you. Having kids complicates things, but the rewards far outweigh the complications. Having a house complicates things, but look! a roof! and it’s over your head! and it’s yours (ok, so you share ownership with the mortgage company)!

You did too much for too many who didn’t appreciate it. Those of us who you mean the most to stood in line. We’re still here. Where are they? The important thing is to pick the most important causes and jump in whole-heartedly. Look at the big picture…what will still be important ten years from now. You’ll never regret the time you spend with your family. You’ll never regret time spent in community service…where there is no expectation of reciprocity. There doesn’t necessarily need to be a reason (that you can see) for doing something. The important thing is that it’s worthwhile. This weekend I’ll be cleaning out years worth of debris from a house that I probably will never see the inside of again (at least I hope so!). It’s not about me. It’s about a woman who has dedicated her life to giving the gift of the knowledge of the Lord to umpteen-thousands of, maybe even more than a million, children (I can’t begin to imagine how many childrens’ lives she’s touched in her life). She deserves something back. I’m sure at her age she knows that the choices she made a half-century ago (or more) have brought her to this place in her life. Somewhere, at sometime in her life (or many times and many places), she did something to deserve this (in my book she deserves more, this is the least I can do). That’s the long, drawn-out way of saying, ‘all the good things you’ve done in your life will someday come back to kiss you on the cheek. Or, the more familiar, bite you on the butt.’ Maybe not by those you’ve ‘righted,’ but you’ll get what’s coming to you. (I personally wish pray for more kisses for you.)

Don’t let the harshness of the city or the cynicism of LFD take what’s good and sweet out of you. You’re entitled to get emotional when you feel emotion. I feel bad for anyone who doesn’t feel life. What’s the point of living life if you don’t feel it? Cry if you want and then make fun of LFD for not crying, for being so cynical.

In answer to your question: I’m happiest when my kids are happy, not happy with the material, but happy just being. Being together, being good people, being content with who they are and what we are and where they are. I’m happy when I can take them for a walk around the lake, stopping at the playground along the way so they can swing on the swings and climb on the play set and slide down the slides.

I’m happiest when I realize I have extraordinary friends who do ordinary things for those around them because they can (and if they’re reading this they’re probably wondering who I’m talking about, because they probably don’t consider themselves extraordinary). For example, the Cub Scout den leader who gives up one of his two free nights in a month that is crammed with ball games and business dinners and business travel to help the boys with their requirements for their badges. Or how about the friend that picks up my child every day after school saving me money I don’t have on aftercare and volunteering to do it again next year after her child leaves the school. I’ll probably never have the opportunity to repay that kind of kindness to her directly. She wouldn’t even accept a set of movie ticket vouchers that I bought for her family at Christmas. (I insisted.) Instead I do what I can do. I spend a day shlepping debris from an old house, I help organize a potluck dinner and game night. Small stuff, but I do what I can.

We’ll never be the same as we were ten or twenty years ago. I don’t want to be. Yes, life is hard. The challenge is to surround ourselves with people that help us get through it and that we give a little more than we receive. It’s also important that we never take happiness when we find it for granted. The struggles and the heartache frame the joy in a contrasting color so that we see it more vividly. It’s important to step back and really see it when we notice that feeling.

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Responses

  1. And to think I raised someone who can think such beautiful thoughts and communicate them unashamedly. Thanks for being YOU. Luvya.


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