Monday, December 29, 2008

Ten Things to Take With You on the Ride Through 2009

Here we are at the last few days of 2008. It's been quite a ride, all things considered. Welcome again to the Church of the Wayward Gypsy. What have "we" learned? I'll try to delineate a year's worth of experience in the few words that I can fit on a 10-point list: Ten Things to Take With You on the Ride Through 2009. In no particular order (except that this is how they've dribbled through my mind):
  • Never mind that the word kindness is a noun - it is an action, and requires action. No one was ever accused of being kind who sat in a corner doing nothing.
  • Contrary to popular belief, Time does not heal all wounds. Nature does. Surrounding oneself with natural beauty reminds one that everything shares an interconnectedness and that sometimes the big heavy stuff (while seeming to require a mental forklift on our individual parts) is but a grain of sand in the grand schema. That doesn't mean that we or our lives are in any way insignificant - keep in mind that a single grain of sand can change everything (ever get one caught in your eye?).
  • Laughter is a requirement, particularly the ability to use it while looking in the mirror.
  • Significant events in life will happen if you're ready or not. Keep these emergency supplies handy: observation, openness, at least one good friend (with two good ears), inventiveness and/or creativity, sense of humor, water, and chocolate.
  • Love, while a useful tool, is not a possession. Give it away. The one who dies with the emptiest toolbox wins.
  • Music is as essential to survival as food is. It can change an attitude. It can fix a mood. It just plain feels good to belt out a familiar tune, or dance (even if it's alone in the living room), or close your eyes and escape to whatever desert island awaits (I hear Bob Marley and I don't care how cold it is - I'm puttin' on a Hawaiian shirt!). And so, as the man sang, "Lively up yourself. Don't be no drag."
  • Physical Fitness, Mental Fitness, and Spiritual Fitness are a triad and require strength on all three sides. Therefore - on a daily "nutritional" basis - Eat Well; Learn something (feed your head); Meditate (dream, pray, whatever you want to call it, so long as you take time to nurture your spirit). Get daily exercise: Walk (get outside!); Think (outside the box will give you the best workout); Experience (give your heart a very long leash, remembering the words of Rilke: no feeling is final).
  • Connect with Pure Innocence, whether it's a child or an animal. Seeing the world through unblemished, unjaded, non-judgmental, unconditionally loving eyes is a joyful thing. If you don't have a child or a pet, visit one - generally speaking, good parents and good pet owners are happy to share.
  • Sometimes the person you need most in your life is (still) a stranger. Sometimes the person they most need is YOU. Say hello (with a smile, dammit!) to people you don't know.
  • There's no rewind, there's no fast forward, there is no pause. There is only Play or Stop. Take care to keep it on Play - you're needed more than you know. (Oh, and there are no subtitles either, so speak up!)
There you have it. Let's meet back here this time next year... see where the journey has taken us...? I'll bring the bean, you bring the pastries.

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