Sunday, September 16, 2012

The Moments That Open Your Whole Life

I just read a quote that made me stop and do some soul searching. What do you think?

“ . . some moment happens in your life that you say yes right up to the roots of your hair, that makes it worth having been born just to have happen. Laughing with somebody till the tears run down your cheeks. Waking up to the first snow. Being in bed with somebody you love… whether you thank God for such a moment or thank your lucky stars, it is a moment that is trying to open up your whole life. If you turn your back on such a moment and hurry along to business as usual, it may lose you the ball game. If you throw your arms around such a moment and hug it like crazy, it may save your soul.” – Frederick Buechner

                                       Pepper with her ball in the snow - perfect happiness!

I hope I'm living my life in such a way that I remember to thank God for all the wonderful moments . . . but am I? Do I remember to throw my arms around the moments that matter and hug them like crazy? When I have time . . . when I'm not stressed out . . . when it's not too busy around here.

That's one thing about Pepper. Every time I throw the ball for her, it's as though it's the first time. When it's time to eat, she gets as excited as if she were going to be fed filet mignon. And let someone say the word "walk!" If I jumped out of my skin with anticipation over a walk the way she does, I would probably be a size zero. Pepper definitely lives "in the moment" and embraces every good thing that comes her way.

                                                  Pepper wants the ball thrown - again!!

Maybe I need to adopt a "Pepper" attitude toward my life - more enthusiasm for the good things that come my way, more excitement for what could be considered "every day." As Buechner said, throw my arms around those moments and hug them like crazy. Who knows what could happen? I may end up needing a new wardrobe!!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Manufactured Drama

I’ve always tried to be the type of person that doesn’t have time for manufactured drama, but I have to admit that I can get sucked into it as easily as the next person. Let someone not invite me to lunch with the “gang” or not share the latest office gossip with me or leave me out of some sort of plan that is going on – and my feelings get hurt as much as anyone else’s.

But last week was a crazy week for me. Even though it was Labor Day week and therefore, only a four day work week, it seemed as though it was one of the longest weeks of my life. I don’t think I could have gotten one more meeting or extra phone call into the hours I had available to me – forget trying to get enough sleep. So, when someone I would have called a friend, let’s call this friend Jack, called me Friday evening – I was sound asleep. Jack left a message on my cell phone. Sadly, I didn’t see that Jack had called until I was on my way to my volunteer shift at Hospice on Saturday morning, so I sent him a text and let him know that I was sorry I had missed his call, but that I was “working” at Hospice that morning.

My weekend was pretty much like my week, with one activity after another, and I don’t think I sat down for five minutes all weekend – and didn’t give Jack’s call another thought. Until this morning, when I was leaving for work and I saw that I had a text from Jack. Here’s what Jack had to say:

            Thank you for responding to my phone call. Texting me back is very cold. A phone call would have been nice. Please do not bother now. Thanks. Jack Smith

Seriously? All this because I didn’t call you back? I was thinking what my response to his snarky message would be as I drove to work. But when I got there, I learned that one of my co-workers had a weekend that was beyond tragic. Her husband, whom she had married in March, died of a sudden heart attack at noon the previous day. And then her father, who had been ill and under Hospice care, died during the night.

Suddenly, I had all the perspective I needed to put Jack and his drama in its proper place. I can’t imagine the body blow of grief my co-worker was hit with yesterday. I don’t know how she has made it through today, how she has made herself take each breath and function as necessary. I wouldn’t wish something like this on my worst enemy. But just hearing about it made me realize that Jack needs to look in the mirror and, as Granny Wall used to say, “get ahold of yourself.” I can’t control him and the way he behaves, but I can control my response.

And there will be none.

Pepper says – as long as the biscuits keep on coming, she’s fine with that, too.