There are just a few too many things on my mind this week and I am feeling both sentimental and cynical… which is a fair description of my general personality if you add in sassy and smart-assy. But, it’s not about me.
First and most importantly today is a shout out to my daughter who is enjoying a week of exploration in Maine. My husband, son and I visited the great state a few years ago and had our fill of lobster, steamed then wrapped in newspaper to be eaten outside at a picnic table at a roadside stand. Lobster Pounds or Shacks, they call them. Sweetest meat you’ll ever eat. But then again, what isn’t good if dipped in butter?
My daughter is turning the ripe old age of 27 on the 17th. Still young enough to do most everything and get away with it, and yet old enough to know better. I remember when she was a tiny tot, her most oft’ used line was, “I will do it by my own-self!” That scrunched up determined little face told me to back off Mamma. This kid’s got this. Independent? Uh… yeah. She’s been kicking butt and taking names since she shot out of the womb. (Labor time from 10:30 at night to 1:30 in the morning.) Little speed-ball took me and then the world by storm and we all just wait to see what in the world she’ll do next.
But then, there is sadness in life, that is the end of it. Robin Williams was a loss to everyone who enjoyed his humor and acting. I’m sure a huge loss to his family and friends. And a wake up call, once again, to our country. We must take depression seriously. But here in small-town America, we have our own losses. Our county sheriff is being mourned this week, and rightly so. He was a good man and a young man, which makes the whole loss so much more difficult. Yet, he used the life he was given to do good things. He was a big part of his children’s lives and he was an integral part of our community and county. To say he will be missed would be quite an understatement.
Yet we all must go at some point. And we all do. Considering the short amount of time we’re allotted here on this earth, do any of us really grasp how important it is to make good use of this time? Are we all being as kind and helpful as we can? Are we spending more time making others feel better about themselves? Or are we just thinking of ourselves?
Keeping in mind we are all human, of course we don’t walk the straight and narrow path every day. Or even most of every day. We get lost in our own little thoughts and issues. We stumble and veer away from common sense and kindness and simple good manners. All of us do it. And it’s exhausting when we are subjected to a person who is being ugly—the kind of people who only consider themselves, not others around them.
If you can, I hope you walk away from people who make us feel bad. And walk away with clean hands. You won’t feel better for scolding or giving a dose of their own medicine. They’re immune. Leave them be. Take the high road. Integrity is something you own and it can’t be taken away from you without your permission. Be better than that… it’s hard but it’s worth it.
As the Dalai Lama says, “…if you can’t help them, at least don’t hurt them.” Once we lose respect for someone, it is so difficult to get back. Just be nice or be quiet. Seriously. It’s not all about you. I have to remind myself of this constantly.
And so I want a break. I will board a plane on Monday to fly off to San Francisco. I’ve never been. Don’t like flying, but I do want to get away. Just me and the hubs. We’ll explore and see what we can see. I’ve reached a point where travel isn’t something I need quite as much. I’m fairly content at home. I like my life just fine and don’t need to get out and do anything too interesting to keep me amused. But it will be great to see new things and learn what the west side of the country is like. Maybe I’ll buy some good Napa Valley Wine, and I hear it’s very interesting to visit Alcatraz. Knowing me, I’ll just want to sit and watch the seals on Pier 39 all day.
While I’m gone, everyone stay safe, and play nice. We get such a short amount of time here… do good things with yours.