My daughter called tonight and we both just had to laugh at what life continues to throw at us. She says the most important lesson I taught her is to laugh when life hurls crap at you because really, what choice do you have? I love that laughter is my legacy to her.
It’s as if she knew that the lovely creek behind my house would crest the next morning about six feet from my apartment’s bottom floor. And that, try as I might, I still have yet to land that good writing job. And that I would come home last night to a dog stuck under my bed, and so terrified that all he could do was yelp…and urinate.
Yep. Some weeks are like that. And with this pandemic, some years are like that. But, hey it could always be worse. As my friend Carolyn’s mom says (any time we even think about complaining) “Just remember, you could have been born without a nose!” Carolyn thought it was so funny she immortalized it in a painting I keep in my bathroom. It makes me laugh every morning.
I know laughter is what’s kept me mostly sane all these years. That, and a great family/friend network, plus a working nose.
I heard a fantastic podcast a couple of weeks ago on Hidden Brain. The host is Shankar Vedantam and the show was about resilience and appreciating all life has to give. Here is a link. “Hidden Brain, Minimizing Pain, Maximizing Joy.” I want you all to listen to it. He interviews a man named William Irvine who is an expert on stoicism. He’s written a number of books on them and has the healthiest perspective.
One thing he said, really stuck with me. Experience everything as if it’s the last time you’ll do it. Whether it’s walking in the rain, laughing with your daughter on the phone, or petting your dog who’s just peed on the floor. It really does help you to embrace every moment, even the absurdly bad ones.
It also makes me think about all my friends who’ve passed away. What they would have given to live one more normal day, even a crappy one cleaning up dog pee.
So, go ahead creek, rise. I’ll get through it.