Sunday, March 15, 2015

Living With Life

I am an idealist, dreamer, romantic, and eternal optimist.  This all sounds wonderful but such attitudes often leave me disappointed with people and life.  Most of life is very ordinary and mundane.  I strive to put meaning into everything but sometimes life is just chores I need to do or people I must endure.  The good news is that even the most humdrum day has moments when the light is shining and life seems good.  I try to be awake and aware enough to notice such moments.  It can be sunlight after days of snow, rain and overcast skies.  It can be the smile of a co-worker, the laughter of a friend, or the joy my granddaughter brings me.  It can be one of those hidden moments where everything seems perfect if only for a second.  Although some people seem lucky and everything appears to go their way, for most of us life is work.  Sometimes I am tired and weary.  I have been getting out of bed or leaving my couch to go to work for 48 years.  My first job in high school was bagging groceries in a mom and pop grocery store.  I am 40+ into a marriage and 36 years into parenthood.  Here’s a spoiler alert for those of you with young children:  Parenthood never ends as long as you are alive.  The good news is that most of us receive enough goodness in our lives that the struggles do not overwhelm us.  No matter how weary we may feel, no matter how dark life may seem, no matter how overwhelming it may feel, there is always light and there is always hope.  As one of my favorite rock bands, the Grateful Dead, once sang, “Sometime you get shown the light in the strangest of places if you look at it right”.        
The following thought occurred to me while taking a walk on a very beautiful Thursday afternoon….
Flowing with life is different than being carried away by it.  I tend to flow with life most of the time and rarely get overwhelmed or carried away by it.  Too often, perhaps, I fight it.  It’s my nature to go against the grain, to be rebellious, and to not run with the herd.  I guess I want to flow with life but I want to do it on my terms.  This may be a symptom of my age.  Older people tend to get feisty as they age.  We’ve tolerated about as much BS as we can stand.  This awareness often kicks in about age 50.  Some enlightened young people are on an accelerated program and have this awareness at a much younger age.  By the time you are in your 60’s you are totally over it and as the TV news person declared in the movie Network, we’re “mad as hell and we’re not going to take it anymore”.  So much for flowing with life.  Rather than flowing with the river of life I think I must be trying to change the flow of the river. (smile)     

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