I have to say that I received a lovely package in the mail a few days ago from a special person in my life. In it, there were some lovely pieces of reading material. What a surprise to receive! I am not used to receiving things just for me and I do not accept gifts with much grace. Ergo having a chat with the said person earlier as he had asked me did I go to the post office recently. Me saying to him, “what did you do now?” Man, can I make it more uncomfortable for the giver who was just trying to be kind. Yes I could and should. But the woulda shoulda coulda….well keep my mouth shut and just say THANK YOU. My bad once again. It is humbling to say the least when you face your own quirks and burps of self.
I know that is an area I have a bit of difficulty with. I tend to be a giver and not so much a receiver. It does make me uncomfortable when I think about it in that I am so not used to receiving gifts, even compliments or kudos for that matter. LOL. I tend to brush it off or ‘hide’ myself behind my quiet. Yet, I am a paradox in that I would do my very best to build another person up, find a little something to give to person to show I am thinking of them at this time, let them know they are great or in some way I care about them as a person. Kindness matters. So what’s up with me?!
It probably stems from my childhood upbringing of being made aware that one should be selfless, give to others like your shirt off your back, don’t expect anything as you have to work hard for whatever you get, be happy with what you have. Then later on in my adult life, the impact of experiencing too many times to count a daily ‘sticks and stones’ of feeling less than less or if given something, there is a reason behind it. So I probably overcompensate in trying to make sure no one that I come across, will hopefully not feel that from me. Unfortunately, if you hear or feel something enough you begin to believe it. Life lessons can suck big time. Once again, kindness matters.
Which leads to this one book that I found in the package. It is entitled The Choice by OG Mandino. I am wondering if I have read some quotes from his works at times but did not pay attention to the author’s name. His thoughts speak to me in such a deep and profound way. What a read!! A keeper!! I am going to have to reread it a few times which thankfully it is only 162 pages in length. Being a hoarder of words, I think this is one of those finds with keeper quotes to live by or at least resonate with my heart big time. I loved the opening line “The only calendar I need is just outside my window.” Wow!
Words, especially written words, have always been powerful for me. Not to say that I am not moved by the oral word but my brain forgets it too quickly. That is one thing about attending Mass for example and it is a bug-a-boo with me. The homily will be so inspiring with wisdom and hope but do you think I can remember even the gist of it. I like to write down what I hear which of course is not a practice in Mass. Thinking of Jesus in the Jerusalem finding merchants doing in business in the sacred space and he over turns the tables. Yikes! Probably frowned upon as onlookers would look at me and think….well I do not know what they would think. But I confess now, I have done it a few times. Oops! Forgive me Father for I have sinned. No offence Father as Your earthly messenger did a good job of reaching and opening my ear passages. Oh for merciful love.
Anyway I am way off the beaten path of my thoughts. Choice. Such a noble word. The connotation can be both quite exciting and frightening at the same time. It is something that has been given to us freely and I think truly to not be taken lightly either. Of course, we make hundreds of choices daily with little thought except exasperation or grumbling like “do I have to?” And over the course of a lifetime, too many to count. And yet we make them regularly. Do I stick my nose out of my blanket and put my feel on the floor today? Do I want latte or decaf (neither one for me)? Do I really want to go into work or pretend to be sick? (who has done that?) Do I pretend that my name is not mom or mommy or mama or Karen or Rara? Do I…..? Endless stream of the do’s and have to’s and must do’s.
But there are some choices that are gulps, swallowing hard, life changing, beyond comprehension decisions. Decisions that cannot be made lightly nor happily. Although, I should not say that, as happily is subjective. There is no objective about it especially when it is so personal. I think of my sister and dad who had to make a choice back when Covid 19 first began; deciding that mom needed 24 hour care as she was not safe for herself or for others. Never mind how it was made and the thoughtful research of finding a place that would be ‘good’ for mom. Home is always the best but not necessarily the choice in the long run. Gulp. That choice has changed the direction and course of their lives. The health of all and the need of each person in that household had to be considered. In many ways, it has brought a family closer and the gatherings though brief are memorable.
As I read this particular book, the author certainly knew how to keep me in suspense. He knows the nuance of touching the heart, deep within, at least for me. Juggling and jostling my heart chords to spring and take note. A larger image came to the forefront of my mind connecting to his opening line because it reminded me to ask myself of how I live my life. How I choose to live my life. There in front of me as I too look out my window is a cloudy with a forecast of cloudy cool day again. I do not need a another calendar to say what kind of day it is going to be….for it is going to be a day. It is going to be a day filled with choices. And I will make choices, sometimes rightly and other times wrongly.
But looking outside, I know that I am not going out in a T-shirt and shorts. I am going to put on warmer clothes. Be sensible. I also know that at some point I will need to get groceries (growling tummy and grandkids coming this weekend which means treats in the kid cupboard), rake the lawn (need gloves), dig the garden (rubber boots? No work boots), its Thursday so compost or garbage day (look it up on calendar LOL and get out ), take a walk along the lane (Fiona hurricane last fall did some good damage to the trees on property), get the crossbow saw (be careful Karen you are not so nimble and handy dandy as before). And I just looked outside and all this came to mind.
I could choose to be grrring as I see another day of cloud and cool and gloomy feeling. Or I could choose to see the delight of great things are happening all around. I could look at the forecast of another area in Canada or I can say….it is not snow. It is not Fiona. It is not a tornado. Choice. How to see the silver lining or the sacramental moment in the ordinary with eyes turning to wonder as retreat leader used to say.
Sometimes the choice is taken away from us. In this particular case, the choice was beyond comprehension, a test of true self. Whew! Humbling. Blessings today.
Let us pray for those who are in need of our prayers today. And for those choices made in life. Amen