Monday Smiles – 9/30/2013
I won’t kid you. Monday Smiles has been my hardest post of the week lately. It has required looking away from those things in my life that are stealing my smiles and focusing on those that make me smile. Don’t you find it odd that we often find it easier to look at the sad things in our lives instead of the happy ones? And, please, spare me the notion that everything’s neutral, that it’s only in my head that things attain a positive or negative valence. The family melodrama that’s been making me crazy has settled into a dramatic mini-series with an uncertain outcome. It can still sucker me in on a daily basis if I let it. Ants are appearing in odd places in our house, proving once again that Anaheim Hills is just a big ant hill. Muri and I moved our date night to Sunday so I could watch my USC Trojans and we were destroyed by Arizona State, 62-41. Sunday, we went to see Neal Simon’s Broadway Bound at the La Mirada Performing Arts Center but Muri got a migraine partway through Act Two. We made it through the play but cancelled dinner reservations. It was home and into bed for her. Last night, I sat down to write Monday Smiles about Neil Simon and discovered I’d already written it as Friday Favorites 1/25/2103. Jeez, the old memory’s going. This morning when I did my 75 foot commute to my office, one of the cats … probably Elvis … had shredded a bird all over the carpet. What’s there to smile about?
That’s why I like this quote from Charles Sugg, a poet I’d never heard of until I found his quote on Goodreads … it takes me back to basics. There was a time I hated slogans and proverbs and quotes. If you can say it on a bumper sticker, it’s not worth saying, I’d have told you. Life was complicated. I was complicated. You can’t fix me with some dumb slogan, I’d have said. And I’d have been right. If I hadn’t taken the time and effort to realize how precious life is, Chad’s quote would mean nothing to me. But I’ve been starting my gratitude list with Another Day in God’s World for years, so it’s a reminder to do what I already know. So, here it is, Monday morning and Muri’s feeling better. Broadway Bound was what Neal Simon’s plays always are … funny with great humanity and situations to which we can all relate. My Trojans may have lost but the Athletic Director fired the coach, which was long overdue … and my Patriots won last night. I’m writing this post at the kitchen table as the quail are dashing back and forth on the back slope, trying to beat the doves to seeds dropped by the jays. House finches are plucking seeds from the alyssum on our patio table and a hummingbird flits from flower to flower on the mandevilla. Mr. P, our Siamese cat, stopped by to apologize for the bad behavior of his sister. He did not, however, volunteer to clean it up. I’ll have to do it and spray for ants, too. It will give me something to do. And I’ve written another Monday Smiles. I won’t go so far, this morning, as to say Life is Good. Life is Life but it’s Monday and I’m smiling.