Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Life Is A Terminal Condition

I'm going to have a little talk with myself...and you are welcome to listen in. It seems that I get up every morning and one of the first thoughts in my head is "why?". Why do I have to get up? Why do I have to go to work? Why do I have to clean the house? And, it is not "why" in a good, challenging way, but in a very negative way. Like everything that I'm facing is a bummer. Those negative pathways seem burned into my brain and are hard to overcome. But deep down inside there is a small, positive voice that is trying to be heard, and is whispering "get over it and be grateful". Why don't I get up each day and think how glad I am to be alive, to have a job, to have a house, to have friends and hobbies?

Yesterday, I couldn't stop thinking of the people who are important to me who have died. Those people, especially my dad, would trade me in a minute for another chance to see a sunrise, eat something yummy, call a relative, sit in a comfy chair, just watch TV. He would appreciate another opportunity for why do I so frequently take a negative point of view?

Meet Tom Smith. When my dad died I formed a relationship with Tom that made him feel like my second father. He was a janitor at my school, but, really, was a wiseman in disguise. Every day, he laughed, talked, and taught me about the world. He helped me get my first passport and opened up the entire world to me by encouraging me to travel. He would frequently go to foreign countries and talk to cab drivers and store clerks and get to know real people. He visited homes of strangers in South America and schools in China because he was willing to talk to them and get to know them and they sensed he was interested in them. He LOVED life and loved people and always enjoyed each day. When he came across a hardship at work, he would take it in stride and never utter a bad word. He died 30 months ago and left a void in my heart that might never be filled. However, he taught me that the world is mine and that travel will expand my mind and my perspectives like no other experience. Thanks to Tom, Walt and I have traveled to Europe 12 times. Thanks to Tom, my mom went to Europe several times and to China. He was brave, and true, and honest, and positive...qualities I often lack.

If I could just wake up each day and view life and people like Tom did, I would be happier and so would the people around me. I would be proactive instead of reactive. I would feel a connection to people instead of a fear of them. I would view the beauty of the world instead of focusing on the drudgery. This is a message I heard from my father and from Tom, and this is my ongoing goal, my desire for personal reform.
You would have liked both men...and I miss them both terribly. Maybe I can get up tomorrow and try to be more like them. Whatever happens, life is, indeed, at terminal condition.

1 comment:

  1. This is just amazingly beautiful my friend. You made me cry. There are not to many out there like Tom. You are just as rare Lady and we love you Carol.
    So Glad and lucky to have you in our lives!!!!!!
    Charlie and Allison