Thank You John Candy….

I wish I could claim originality, but check out the Dalai Lama, Winnie the Pooh, or, my favorite, the Desiderata, and you will see that I am not the first one to think that it’s the simple ideas in life that matter.

Love.

That’s it, that’s all. Don’t justify it. There’s no need for a pros and cons list…just love. Love like your life depends on it. Because it does.

You can’t take it with you.

Really, you can’t. Our ancestors buried their ancestors with their swords and gems and clothes and even food. You know what happened? Centuries later, their descendants came along and dug it up and made assumptions. I should know, my mother was an anthropologist and archeaologist.

Dance.

Really. Don’t be the one that stands against the wall and shakes their head no. DANCE when someone asks you and dance when they don’t. Pure abandon is necessary.

Sing.

Yes, even if you’re tone deaf. SING OUT LOUD. SING YOUR HEART’S SONG. After all, if you don’t, who will? So sing, dammit.

Play.

PLAY.

Can I say it enough?
NO.
Play, and play and play. Watch the children. They know the secret – they know how to invent, how to create, they KNOW and they don’t know. You can never be too old, or too cool….but you can be too………stuck. And play changes all of that.

Laugh.

Laugh out loud, give in to the belly laugh, no matter how undignified you think it may sound. Laugh until your ears itch…..and don’t be ashamed of what brings that mirth unrestrained….enjoy it. Life is too short to be dignified.

And finally,

BREATHE.

It’s a verb for a reason. It’s an action…an action that requires premeditation. A bodily movement that we believe is involuntary but I ask you, how many times do you realize you’ve been holding your breath? Gotcha. Think about it.

Life is not what we make it, it’s what we discover it to be. Plan all you want, but if you can’t roll with what actually happens, well, that’s when you’re in trouble.

The best things happen when you least expect it.

I know, because that’s how I found the love of my life. Honestly, probably the love of several lifetimes all rolled into one, and I know it now but….I spent a good two years talking myself out of what could be. Thankfully, somehow, I didn’t get so much in my own way that it never happened. I don’t know why, and I don’t know how, but that love still came to be….maybe because I stopped thinking about it so much and just let things go the way they should.

Here’s the deal – and you have to be willing to go with me on this….just picture your life path as a river. You have two options….either you “go with the flow” (thank you John Candy), or, you can make yourself a raft and a paddle and paddle furiously upstream, in the direction you think you are supposed to be going. It will be hard, and you will wonder why you are working so hard, and eventually, you will be so exhausted you will give up and….

Guess what, you’ll go with the flow, if only because you have no more strength to do otherwise.

And finally you will end up, after you have been towed along by the current and bashed against the rocks, exactly where you would have been before….if you’d only just taken a breath, taken the plunge and had a little faith/a little abandon.

I try to remember this – and when I wonder why I feel like I am working so hard, I really try to remember to drop the paddle and see where I’m supposed to be already.

Usually it results in a facepalm and a moment of “AHA”….

And also a feeling that someone somewhere is thinking “gotcha.” NOW, you see where you should be.

Guaranteeed that when I do finally get there, it’s very clear to me that what I had planned was far below what was possible….