Perspectives and Promises

A Summer blog delayed by writer’s block;here-to-with something I’ve never experienced. Whether I’ve been asked to speak extemporaneously or write and article on anything from “Apples” (love’em if they’re Gala) to “Z”. I’ve never been at a loss for words. But since my last entry I have been silent in the blog-o-sphere, and I think I know why.

Early this summer an old and treasured friend suffered a horrible loss. And her pain has been front and center on my mind. Truly, writing on any number of subjects seemed trite and meaningless. (And those who know me know how I love trite.)

I would like to write about something my friend said to me and a group of friends who had gathered to share support. “I have no patience anymore for people’s complaints.” She was talking about an element of her job and she struck a chord. I mentioned her comment to another friend, who likewise has had her share of loss and challenge and she immediately related to the sentiment. She said that at a similar time in her life a neighbor fretted over the “wrong color of some new carpet, and I thought ‘I don’t want to hear it.What are you complaining about?'”

I know we all get tired or overwhelmed. Sometimes things just pile up on us in our days. Just recently at work, I spilled a 9 by 13 dish of quiche that a roomful of breakfast seeking ladies were waiting for. It was a mess.And while I allowed myself a level of aggravation and and an exclamation of, “Holy Cheese and crackers!!” I refused to tell the story as a complaint. Spilled quiche, really? So not worth complaining about.

It seems like daily I hear in the media stories of work/road/waiting-in- line rage. And the stuff that goes on at youth sporting events is really scary. If the worst thing in your life is how long it takes for your morning coffee to be placed in front you or the blown call at the 7th grade soccer game you, my friend, are living a charmed existence.

No, I want to focus on the important stuff. The good stuff. Friends and family who pull for you. Show up when you need them. Pastors who give a sermon with one or more insights you may not have thought of. Kids who say “thank you.” Spouses who say “I love you” or fill your gas tank. People at work who tell you they appreciate your hard work, or creativity. Neighbors who keep an eye on your kids or house or pet when you’re not around. Doctors and nurses who show up every day working to keep other people healthy. The list goes on.

Now, I know I won’t stop thinking or commenting on things that I wish were different. Life isn’t perfect. I’ll be at a Major League ball park this week. It will be hot. Someone will be wearing something (or not wearing something )that will seem to me an insult to fashion, good manners and health. I’ll be on a plane or train one day and there won’t be enough leg room. But while I’ll notice these things , I’m going to try real hard not to complain about them. Joke maybe, or roll my eyes, yes. But complain about them no. Life is short. I have too many blessings. I’d rather be a glass is half-full kind of person, and thankful for the glass.

This summer, some sad things happened to some good people I know. You probably know some sad stories too. Let’s leave any complaining to those folks, they’ve earned it. But let’s try to be one of the reasons they can navigate thru it. With a hug, a joke, a casserole, or a prayer. I’m just say’n.

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