Well, I’m back on home soil. Sounds a bit cheesy, but for a time I seemed to be spinning hither and yon and though I was being productive, I was not getting far with personal plans and nothing was being accomplished in the construction zone.
It is never a great idea to be too concerned with personal stuff above that of the needs of others though. I try to take life in stride these days but there are those moments when I begin to feel a bit overwhelmed by the “other stuff” that can creep in. I’ve spent a great deal of my life catering to other’s needs and it was generally always on my mind. I remember some years ago my Mom pointing out an item that was written by Billy Graham. The title was, “Learning how to say No!” I thought it rather strange coming from a mother who spent a great deal of time in our childhood trying to show us that that we needed to think of others ahead of ourselves. Even our religious training was impacted by the short chorus, “Jesus, Others and You… What a wonderful way to spell Joy”. This epic taught the principal of priority in life and was that we really needed to put ourselves last. But life deals us funny circumstances sometimes; though the wording was correct, the philosophy, if followed strictly at all times, can lead us to the greatest downfalls in life. Been there and worn that tee-shirt!
I’ve been going through the cache of thoughts along memory lane over the past months. Ever done that? Just meandering along through life and “POW” you are in another place in time! Events of the past have a way of awakening emotions later on in life and the triggers are as many as they are varied. Well, I guess I am cursed with many varied triggers. Maybe it is due to the fact that I am getting chronologically challenged, (sounds better than getting older doesn’t it!) and time deals me the cards that it feels I need to re-digest before they settle too deep in my sub consciousness. Ah, let’s face it… I am getting old and like so many of my friends, I hash over the old times like it was the real life and it was just the stuff of fairy tales. Nostalgia has a way of clouding the hardships, trials and tribulations that we waded through to get here… the golden years.
So, much of the construct of life has been a trip, a journey which if we were true to ourselves has made us either a total mess or given us inner strength to face the daily grind and still enjoy both the sun and the rain. The analysis which we do later in life adds only the pie-chart syndrome, a picture of what was, versus what might have been. So, where am I today? I guess I am in the mood to move on, to build on and defend what is left of life. I like to think positive some days; because of my gene pool , my calculations show that I may have as much as 30 mostly good years left to love, laugh and play as best that I can, before I reach maturity!
Yes… those estimates may be a bit high, but Mom always said, “Always aim high cause if you don’t you will only fall short of the horizon!” Never quite got my head around that in my youth but it seems to make more sense now that I’ve been there. I have lots to give thanks for, that is certain! Home life taught me a lot, but the living part taught me more. That is my plan now… to live. How I live is the key.
Some days Jesus had to get away from the crowds, the requests and the expectations. Not everyone understood why and that is the reality of life. Most don’t realize that his journey was fraught with the knowledge that he faced not only the daily expectations of people, but the daily expectations of the work he came to do. While kneeling in the garden that night before he was taken prisoner, Jesus faced the giant and his pain was great. Our picture of life is dulled in that moment. Our battle with time and the elements of struggle are miniaturized to almost nothing compared to what He faced in those hours. Yet, it was not just then… it was throughout his ministry, his life from infancy. Our picture of the “Christ” is so narrow, so myopic… we do not see much between the manger and the cross, unless we walk the path with Him and listen to the conversations, not just read the verses mechanically.
I suppose that is part of where I go from day to day. The knowledge of the expectation of what my life must be and the character of that life in balance, in the midst of those expectations, should be the labour of love which I long to be “my life”. The journey for me now is much simpler, I think. The expectations from others will be limited to what I feel are helpful and not so great as to undermine the joys I see left in life. I am learning to say “no”, believe it or not, but with balance always in mind. I see the horizon and am seeking the stars.
I leapt down from the rock and stood by the torrent of water, foam swirling at my feet and for the first time felt the fear of being pulled in. Never before had it ever crossed my mind that most of the daring play at river’s edge below the dam was so dangerous. It was after the rains and the river was high… the thunder of tons of water boiling below me had never made such an impression… I was afraid, and I pulled back. Knowing when to fear is healthy, always being afraid is not. That day I opened my eyes and saw how important it was to watch my step, but taking the next steps with confidence, got me safely home. Does that mean that I am always confident? Absolutely not, sometimes I have not always been as aware of my limitations, as I am now.
My biggest struggles these days will be which project to work on in my new workshop; if I can get it built with all the other jobs I have to do. Ha! Priorities right? Well, I guess I am working on that too! I am just going to keep on working, even in retirement until this ol’ physiology gives out. My retirement is my time to play and play I will; that is my work now! I decide what I take on and my sweetheart of 40 plus years steers the train! Oh well, that is living near the edge for now! Gotta love the view from here!