Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Recognizing The Good Things

There's less than a week until Christmas. Many people are busy and perhaps feeling a little overwhelmed. Some are stressed because they haven't finished...or started... their shopping and maybe the money has run out. Others have plans for Christmas meals. The food needs to be bought, Kroger is riot zone, and there is much cooking and baking to be done. A few are starting to panic. With all of this, how could anyone feel bored? Sometimes we feel bored when the joy has left our lives and few things can kill joy faster than stress. Boredom is a double edged sword. It can be an indication that you are missing opportunities to appreciate all the people and good things in your life. Other times I am happy to be bored because it can also mean nothing bad is happening in my life. Perhaps in our desire for more in life we have failed to appreciate what we already have. Boredom can make us feel empty. There's few of us whose lives are truly empty. Most of us are guilty of taking our lives for granted. Sit down sometime and examine your life in detail. Review in your mind and heart everyone and everything that is part of your daily life from the most important people to the most mundane things. I imagine that your list would be quite long if you were honest. Here's just a few things on my list in no particular order.

All my family, friends, and co-workers, as well as the strangers and unknown people who perform services that help sustain my life. Who do you think grows the food we eat, or makes the water and electricity come to our homes?

Pets. I still miss my cat and I hope he is well. I know many of you are animal lovers.

Employment. I don't always want to come to work and sometimes I complain about my job but I am also very grateful to be employed. I am treated well and I work with very nice people. I have a wonderful staff and they make me look very good. My employment has provided a very nice life.

My home. I live in a quiet neighborhood. My home and my body are approximately the same age and in the same condition. They could use a little work but I am also comfortable living in both.

Faith. I believe there is a God and that there's more to life than meets the eye. I am not as religious as some people imagine but I try to live a life that is spiritual.

All my little creature comforts. I am blessed to have my own space at work and home. I have created places that are peaceful and comfortable. My workplace is full of pictures of family and places of natural beauty. I have some spiritual objects that keep me centered. I can drink coffee and listen to music much of my day while I work. I have enough solitude to keep me from going crazy and enough people to keep me human. At home I have my books and music and a comfortable chair to sit in while I drink coffee and stare out the window. During this holiday season I have some pumpkin eggnog and Boiled Custard in the refrigerator. Last week Chloe and my wife made chocolate chip cookies. I have eaten all of them.

My health. Although I have some health conditions, I am not near death as far as I know, and they do not keep me from enjoying most of life. I am not as healthy as some but also not as sick as others. I can still walk up and down stairs even if my knees sometimes hurt.

Electricity, indoor plumbing, hot showers and baths, heat in the winter, air conditioning in summer, food in the pantry, nice furniture, clothes and shoes to wear even if I am not always in style.

The freedom to write, the gift of being fairly good at it, and the encouragement of many to keep doing it.

I know I have already mentioned people but my granddaughter, Chloe, gets special mention because she keeps me young and has awakened my sense of wonder and awe of life. It's been very good for me to be a Pa Paw. One should sometimes look at life through the eyes of a child.

Last but not least. Music. It is one of the great joys of my life and I am happy to be an aging rock and roller who has friends that share my passion. You know who you are. I still get around pretty good for an old guy even if I do have to take the next day off after a rock concert. It's not because of drinking or doing drugs. I do neither. It's because I am tired from staying out late and I need my rest. Age, and a lower energy level, have some drawbacks. Party on, Dudes!

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