Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Hanging from a telephone wire

Yep, I guess I told a fib. I said the other day that I would leave a discussion of this past Saturday to one paragraph. After reading a couple of other blogs, I decided to go ahead and share some of my thoughts. The more I think about it, I think the reason why I misspoke was because I felt that I needed to do my last two posts first.

Saturday's brunch was at times very emotional for me. After everyone had a chance to eat, we sat around and shared stories about my aunt. While the group consisted mostly of my aunt's friends, my dad and his other sister were also present. But before I get into the statements that were made about her, I'd like to get into some of my choices.

Some of you may have noticed that I my presence in the blogosphere has been less over the last few weeks. That's because one of the decisions I made was not to use my feed reader -- for almost two weeks. (I won't even begin to describe how many posts there were waiting for me when I opened it yesterday.) I knew that I needed to take a step back, much as I have done with many of my family members.

In many ways, I was feeling like my life was in a rut. I love structure, thus my love of lists, but I also love the unexpected. And I decided that sitting on my butt in front of the TV night after night was not as much of a variety as I need. Besides I have DVR. The shows will be there waiting for me when I want to see them.

Now don't get me wrong. My workdays are not always the same. It's just that the daily "surprises" have gotten to be the same in some way. I can handle most of these "surprises" in my sleep at this point. And so often by the end of the day, I do indeed feel half asleep. Then I reminded myself that my job has a seasonal quality to it. When we are in our peak season, I completely love my job. This meant to me that during the slow time, I needed to add more things to my life. Like the classes. Oh, and I have an interview scheduled for Monday for the volunteering.

Deciding what to do was in some ways the hard part. When trying to decide what to do, I suddenly heard my aunt's voice in my head. Because not long before her death, she had been asking me why I no longer did things like taking classes. And what really resonated with me was the memory of her saying, "When you do these things, you seem really happy." So I made decisions based on things that give me joy.

And now that brings me to Saturday's brunch. One of her friends mentioned how she was always so much fun to be around. In 2001, she pissed me off. I kept my contact with her to a minimal until 2003 -- when she was first diagnosed with cancer. Because she was sick, I was able to forget our past differences. But there was something else. I had missed her during that time because of the simple fact that she was so much fun to be around.

As the discussion continued, one of her friends mentioned why she was so much fun. This friend said that she had a serious side and could take care of business when needed. But she also had this childlike quality. I remember tearing up this point because all I could think was that perhaps we weren't that different from one another. Perhaps this was to be expected since my grandmother had such a great effect on both of our lives.

And then someone else summed it all up best. No matter what she was doing, my aunt had fun doing it. If there was no possibility of fun, then she just didn't do it. And she could make the most mundane of activities seem like the height of fun. She could even do this when she was sick and suffering from great amounts of pain. By doing this, she made it possible for the rest of us to forget that she even was sick.

So now I'm going to do my best to make sure that every day is filled with some sort of fun. Because as that article that Heidi quoted, this is what life is. And I am so ready to get on with living.

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