The conversation is really interesting, or would be if you cared. She had a blind date last night; he brought his pet ferret named Steve. Steve, you learn, is missing his back paw – fishing accident, or so the story goes. The poor ferret now has difficulty reaching up in his cage to push the button to release the treat. She fell in love with Steve last night, she says.
I don’t like cats; never have. They are mean, vicious even. They lack an intelligence that dogs have. Chances are, those reading this will either agree with me or shout at the heavens how wrong I am. We all live on a continuum (more on that in another post). But, and let me be frank here (not not Frank, just frank), if you disagree with me on this subject, well, you’re wrong.
Now that I have your undying admiration (or outright hostility), let me explain to you why.
When you are 16 you learn to drive.
At 18, you get to vote.
Getting drunk is a milestone at age 21.
Many people get there first job somewhere in there as well.
Then a lot of people go to graduate college (or not).
They may get married.
Children are a common next goal.
Buying a car and a house are major milestones.
Eventually retirement comes about.
What did you accomplish in that time? What toll did “winning” at life take from you? So many people are unhappy and they don’t know why. The things we all achieve, house, kids, career, aren’t they designed to make you happy? When, then, are so many people unhappy?
To me, the answer is that they “won”, and the price they paid was their happiness.
To you, dear reader, I quietly beseech you remember what makes you truly happy – it is often the little things. Write a poem. Take a picture. Paint a landscape. Read a boo, or maybe write one. Make snow angels and build snowmen. Fall down (jump into) a pile of leaves. Hug a dog. Learn to ski. You don’t need to do anything big – just do something that you enjoy. Take back what “winning” has stolen from you.
Find your happiness and share it with others. What makes you happy?
I have succumbed.
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Question from someone I literally just met: What do you do?
My response: Oh I enjoy watching baseball, reading books, taking pictures…
And their followup: No, I mean what do you do for a living?
So the Olympics started last week. I admit, I normally don’t watch. Each time they happen I tell myself I will, but invariably I forget or am travelling or am washing my hair which is no mean feat when you think about it. After all, I don’t look to be going bald anytime soon, fingers crossed. This year though, oh this year has been a bit different.
“You wear your honor like a suit of armor, Stark. You think it keeps you safe, but all it does is weigh you down and make it hard for you to move. Look at you now. You know why you summoned me here. You know what you want to ask me to do. You know it has to be done … but it’s not honorable, so the words stick in your throat.”
– Lord Petyr Baelish, Master of Coin, to Lord Eddard Stark, Lord of Winterfell, Warden of the North, Hand of the King, and Protector of the Realm, from Game of Thrones by George R R Martin.
“We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light.”
Hope is a funny thing, to which any baseball fan (or sports fan in general) can attest. I have been a life long fan of the Atlanta Braves, and was lucky enough to be a teenager in the 1990’s when the Braves began a 14 year span where they won the National League Eastern Division title every year. We (because as a fan, yes I am part of the team) only won one World Series, and in the years we didn’t win the World Series we always hoped we would win the next year. You see, we knew we would be back in the Series next year. Every year.
But that wasn’t hope, not really. You see, hope is a matter of degree – it is one thing to hope to win the World Series, and quite another to hope your team will even make to the Series to begin with.
And it’s yet another level of hope that your team will make the playoffs, have a winning season, or even manage not to end in last place.
Hope is about degrees. What I hope for is not what you hope for. As I sit here watching one of the worst seasons the Braves have had during my lifetime, you most likely hope for something else. Perhaps you hope for tickets to a Broadway show. I hope that in a year or two we’ll be back on top. Such is our lot – to hope for happiness.
But hope is about degrees. As I type this, I’m sitting on my couch and watching as the Braves play a game against one of the best teams in the league; it’s Memorial Day.
Think about that for a moment: today is Memorial Day, and I am hoping my Braves can pull off a win against the Giants.
On Memorial Day.
Hope is about degrees, and while I sit here hoping that the Braves will win, I can’t help but be reminded that men and women have given their lives to protect our country. To protect other countries. To protect life. These men and women fought. And what did they hope for? I cannot say for certain, but I would guess that as the shells fell and as the bullets flew these men and women who fought, these men and women who died, most likely just hoped to see a loved one again. They hoped that their fellow soldiers survived long enough for a medic to arrive. They hoped not only to survive but to win a desperate fight.
They hoped their sacrifices would not be forgotten.
I hope the Braves win today, and that’s okay. It’s okay because those men and women fought to be sure I could be free. They fought so you could free.
They fought for people from other counties that spoke other languages.
They fought so we could hope and enjoy the little things.
So yes, I hope that the Braves win, and I remember that my ability to hope for such a minor thing as a baseball game victory is owed to the brave men and women who came before. Thank you for your sacrifices that I might live a live free of tyranny and oppression.
Image courtesy Wikipedia
“‘Tis the night – the night
Of the grave’s delight,
And the warlocks are at their play;
Ye think that without
The wild winds shout,
But no, it is they – it is they.”