When I went home last week, my mom and I went to a funeral of a friend of hers. She was 88.
I don’t have a good track record at funerals. I have been know to cry so hard I have to leave (and twice this happened when I accompanied my mother to funerals of people I didn’t know). I was still in my twenties then but really!
Anyway mom says we have to roll through and says “don’t worry it won’t be sad. She 88. There won’t be many people there anyway. We’re all dying off.”
And she was right. It wasn’t sad. In fact, it was more of a social hour. A few young people and I mean folks in their 30’s – her grandchildren – were there, but everyone else was around her age or just a bit younger.
That’s when it struck me.
You know that song about The Upper Room? It’s a gospel song talking about when people die they go to the ‘upper room’.
Well, we were in The Waiting Room. My mom even joked with one of her girl friends “See you next time – or maybe not – it might be me.”
Time is chipping away at my Rock of Gibraltar and I don’t like it. I accept it. I understand it. But frankly the heart usually doesn’t give a good you know what for what the head knows.
My mother saw the look on my face when she said that. She retorted: “Life is an inherently fatal disease – buck up.”
And that, I guess, is what that is.
It is early and I have Morning Brain (MB). (for those of you new to my blog Morning Brain is used to describe my state of mind in the a.m. – faster, more agile thinking goes on here before noon. I lose ground all day and by 3 p.m. my brain is a pile of mush).
So while I have M.B. I thought I would pick something and give you a ten cent opinion on it.
I received a question from someone who was in a long term marriage and things were not going well. She wanted to save the marriage and wanted some help. She said they had considered counseling but they decided they didn’t want to. She said she was looking for a “bright idea” on how to fix things.
I loved that she said “bright idea” because it is what most people want when they ask for advice. From what I’ve seen over the years “a bright idea” is one that is easy to do and quick. They want three simple steps that will solve all of their problems in one week.
Check out the self help isle in the book store. The most common things you’ll see in the title are:
1. a number (almost always less than 10)
2. The words “simple” “easy” “quick”
3. A word that expresses a simple process like “ways” or “steps”
4. Some definitive word like ‘fix’ ‘save’ ‘rescue’ solve’ –
5. then the subject matter: e.g. your marriage.
If they didn’t people wouldn’t by it. Can you imagine a self help book entitles “The Long Arduous Journey to Getting Things a Little Bit Better”? It wouldn’t sell but it would be the truth.
When I first wrote my book it was simply called “My Mother’s Rules.” Several folks said – and rightfully so – no one will know what the book is about and no one will by a book that is vague and that tells them that they have to work hard and long at something.
They wanted me to say simple or something and cut down on the rules. That wouldn’t be truthful. So I added “A Practical Guide to becoming an Emotional Genius” – just to tell people what it was about – developing emotional prowess – and tell them I am giving a step by step process -by saying it is a Practical Guide. But I refused to say anything about it being easy.
Working the steps in it is just that – work.
Funny thing too. I read a review of my book written by someone that said the ideas were okay but I had too many rules: 43. (Good grief – she should have seen how many I started out with!!! : ) )
ANYWAY. . . I didn’t mean to go on a tangent about the book – it’s just that the book does encompass so much of my mind set and does at the root of everything, express the answer to just about every question I get . . . . .
Theses days: We want it fast. We want it simple. We want it effortless.
LIFE IS NOT LIKE THAT!!!!!!
With respect to the woman who said her husband and her dismissed the idea of counseling. Why? That is what they are there for – to put a Second Set of Eyes on the problem and use what they know to help you work it out. No, it is not a quick fix. Yes, it is often uncomfortable and difficult. Yes, it costs money. But then I must ask What is a 20 year marriage worth to you?
I am not a woman with ‘bright ideas.’ I am a woman who embraces complexity and believes that the trip to Better Than It Is Now (which, when you think about, is the place everybody is trying to get to) begins at the corner of two streets: Understanding and Effort.
Best I got.
I am home and just got my equilibrium back.
Going home (Ohio) to visit Mom had me tilting a bit. She’s got a comment about everything these days. She’s so funny. It’s like she’s trying to get it all in before she dies or something. Or she just figures heck I’m at that age – what cha’ gonna do?
And she is. And there is nothing I can do. So I just rolled with it. But we had fun. We went out to eat a lot and watched old movies. Went through pictures and old clothes (Mom can dress – I scavenged so much stuff from her closet she has got to mail it to me later).
We’re two of a kind she and I. We can say just about anything to each other. The only big difference is she likes to shop and I don’t. Now I know how the boys felt when I was dragging them through the mall! Mom looks on EVERY RACK!
When I said I was tired and didn’t want to look at all the clothes she said, “and that’s why you wear the same three outfits on all your interviews!”
Had to admit she had a point there.
Anyway, like I said I’m back. Will throw in a video blog here and there now that I know how to do it.
I am trolling through some of your comments and questions. We’ll see what moves me in the a.m.
Just dropping in, trying to fall back into some kind of routine. I see that we have some new people posting. Welcome!!
Have stuff to say . . but not yet. Lots to cover since I’ve been gone. Will holler later.
Want to weigh in on the conversation? Sign up here.