(Warning: This is a long and
potentially boring post about ME.)
What do you think about quitters? Do you see them as weak, unprincipled losers? Or maybe you are of the “honor is the better part of discretion” crowd. “Give it the old college try.” “If at first you don’t succeed try, try again.” “Persistence pays off.”
For every adage about quitting there are probably ten extolling the virtues of “fighting the good fight”. I have never been a quitter. Most people who know me might call me “scrappy”, “feisty” and even (gasp) “stubborn”. Sometimes, though, you just can’t fit a square peg into a round hole, and after a few years of trying to hammer a certain square peg into a round hole I have finally decided it’s time to stop “beating a dead horse”. While I expected myself to be totally despondent I feel surprisingly happy about the way things have turned out.
And then, too, lately I have been thinking about legacies…I must say I never thought about my own legacy very much until a few years ago, but as I creep toward my twilight years I have been thinking about it a lot. I’ve always associated legacies with great people who have done truly awesome things that will be read about generations from now. But can’t legacies also be our family – our children and grandchildren and so on down the line? Well, of course, eventually so much time will pass that we will be referred to as just “our great great grandparents” by our heirs, but still I think you catch my drift. I have done nothing great nor have I had children so what is my legacy? Is living a happy life and touching as many people in a positive way that I can enough?
Last month when I went home for Justin’s wedding I also attended my niece’s high school graduation. Like most graduations it was held in the high school gym on a sweltering Midwestern day. I hadn’t set foot in that gym in over *cough* years, and of course it hadn’t really changed that much. I spent a lot of time in that gym. When I was in high school I played on the girls basketball team (I was a tomboy growing up and loved sports). We were one of the first girls’ teams at a time when Title IX was new and girls were just beginning to get their own athletic programs. (I will save you the trouble of looking it up because you know you want to – I graduated high school in 1978). During my sophomore year our team came within one game of making it to the state tournament. We were a small school in a town of 6,000 so it would have been a huge accomplishment for us to compete against larger cities, but we came up just a bit short.
If you’ve met me then you may be laughing at the fact I played on the basketball team because I am a bit short as well. However, it was that scrappiness, feistiness and even stubbornness that secured my spot. I wasn’t a very good shooter and I wasn’t going to get many rebounds (though I believe I did get 1 once), but I was a bit of a pest (“the more things change, the more they stay the same”), and I parlayed that into becoming the defensive specialist who was sent in from the bench.
Imagine my surprise and absolute delight last May at seeing a large photo of our team hanging above one of the big double doors leading into the gym. Heck, I was almost life-size! (Remember, I said I was short.) So, anyway, there was a legacy, of sorts, because it’s documented and even though it’s nothing great…hey, it’s mine. For a brief time I was a “big fish in a small pond” – but that’s an adage for discussion another day.
I blacked out names to protect the innocent. I am number 3. And, yes, we really were the Mules – you can save the wisecracks because I’ve heard them all before. 🙂
“The cause of being shaken seems to be outside, but it is always inside you, and its solution is inside you as well.”
I didn’t make any New Year’s resolutions this year, but I did make a promise to myself to try to look inward rather than outward in the coming months. My birthday falls within two weeks of the New Year, and it seemed like an especially good time to look back and make sure I was learning the correct lessons life has sought to teach me.
My forties were spent trying to deal with some of the biggest changes in my life since I had gotten married – mostly spent fighting those changes now that I look back on it. There is something about your fifties that makes it seem important, if not downright urgent, to understand these things. And so I have spent the first two weeks of this year reading some books on Taoism, Buddhism and trying to channel my inner Zen.
The above quotation, which came to me through a wonderful little iPhone app called “Tao Way of Life“, has become my mantra. Or I guess, to put it another way as I read somewhere the other day, “Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it”.
You know how there are some people who just let things roll off their backs and go with the flow? Well, I’ve never been one of them, and I may never be.
But I’m trying.
You caught my fancy
if only for a fleeting moment.
When winter’s waned
And Spring spun into
Summer has squandered all its sizzle
Come back and flirt with me.
It was just another day. On September 7, 2001, Ryan Adams began filming a music video with the twin towers in the background for the song “New York, New York” from his upcoming album Gold which was to be released on September 11th. It marked an otherwise insignificant day, one on which few of us can remember what happened and why. Little did we know that everything was about to change.
Click HERE to see the video. It’s now a part of pop culture, but it’s become a bit of a tradition with me to watch this video every September 7th. It helps serve to remind me that it is NEVER just another day.
Just a thought on my previous post….
This time last year we were mourning the loss of our 17-year-old companion, thinking we would never again make the mistake of letting something (insert “someone” if it so applies to you) wander into our lives and run away with our hearts like that again. I have no idea what was going on in Miss Sadie’s life this time last year, how good or horrible it may have been. Chances are she was having the same thoughts that we were, if it’s possible. Whatever it was, events were set in motion which would bring us together, and here we are today – best buddies, in it for the long or short haul. It’s for someone else to decide what that will be.
It seems trivial, I know, but isn’t life like that? At this very moment things are happening today that will plop us right down where we are supposed to be in the middle of tomorrow. What brought you to this moment, to this exact instant of reading these words? Did you take the time or make the time? And so the circular logic spins around us – often out of control, at rare times under our thumbs. All we really know for sure is that it so thankfully and exquisitely spins.
So thanks for taking, or thanks for making, the time to stop by occasionally. Enjoy today. Enjoy tomorrow. And try not to get dizzy. 🙂
sometimes it rings
sometimes it merely chimes
make us smile or make us cry
it can mean the beginning or the end
hells bells bluebells bell bottoms tolls for thee
I drew a bell with words do you
as her beau, the ocean, roared along with her
at his own salty joke
and the sea breezes rippled through her hair
while smoke from her cigarette drifted toward the sky
and painted it
(On our trip up the coast last year, I was fascinated at how the Cypress trees grow at an angle away from the ocean)
Have a great weekend!