Making the Most of Life

Today is the day after Election Day 2016.

Today began with little sleep last night. And it continued with every hour adding a new deadline, more stress, and more pessimism.

My to-do list was not getting done and my creative energy was at an all time low. One task on my list was to find a creative way to tell a story. My search led to this serendipitous discovery! And my soul has been recalibrated.

Michelle Phan concludes her video, “Every great dream begins with a dream. And every dreamer has a story. So don’t settle for a happy ending because ‘… to be continued’ is way more fun.”

But you have to watch it from the beginning to really appreciate the end—which is not really the end :)

fortune just when i need it

I’m pretty optimistic most of the time. But yesterday was a really, really bad day. I was beginning to feel my positive attitude turn sour . . . that is, until I opened my fortune cookie.

I’m grateful for the little things that make life memorable. And a little guilty for letting a tough day almost get the better of me.

a zum zum attitude

Sky, about 9, playing mahout

Twenty assorted sizes of tape securely hold down on my desk a very old and wrinkled piece of paper that measures 4 x 3 inches. It is a special piece of paper. From margin to margin, in elementary scribble, is a message: “Hardy-Hee-Hah! La-Lop Lee! Ubee-Ubee-oop-Oop! Koo-Koo! Yipa-Zipa Lipa-Hipa! Ookee-Ookee! Eek-Eek-Eek!  Bo-ba-bee-bap! Oopa-Loopa! Zum-Zum!” Sky was nine when she taped that piece of paper to my desk

“What does it mean?” I asked Sky as she taped it with furious determination and without asking for permission.

She looked at me, rolled her eyes in exasperation and responded with a question of her own: “Does everything have to mean something?”

Being a very mature adult, I was taken aback by this philosophical response from my child. My logical mind silently responded, Of course everything has to mean something. I’m wasting my time if it doesn’t mean anything. Aloud, though, the mother in me said, “So tell me, Sweetie. What is this note all about? Explain it, so I can understand.”

Another roll of the eyes and a sigh preceded her directions: “Read it aloud, Mom, and tell me how it makes you feel.”

More psycho babble from a child, I mumbled to myself before I did as I was told. I started out aloud with the “Hardy-Hee-Hah! . . .” and barely got to the “zum-zum.”  I felt silly! I sounded foolish! I felt like an unburdened child at play. I first smiled. Then I snickered. Finally I was laughing so hard!

“This is my gift to you, Mom,” Sky said matter-of-factly. “Every time you need to stop and smile, read this note.” With those instructions, she left my office—back into her childhood where the problems are simple and the solutions even more so.

Alone again in my adult world, I learned an invaluable lesson that day: Being grown up doesn’t have to be humdrum. You’ve got to find your “Hardy-Hee-Hah!” and have a zum-zum blast of a day.

not always beyond repair

One of the lessons I learned from living in Nepal is that almost nothing goes to waste. I was constantly amazed at what was accomplished with little or no money; but with plenty of ingenuity, perseverance and positive attitude.

Our ambulance is a good example. It needed a new engine, a new paint job, new tires, new seats . . . .

BEFORE

AFTER