Monday Smiles – 11/17/2014

image Monday.  Smiles.  What a concept.  I am sitting in the park, blogging on my tablet connected to the internet via a small white mobile hotspot that costs a few dollars a month.  I’ve done the several things that cumulatively I like to call my Morning Practice and now I’m engaging in my avocation, writing, even though my company just brought in the largest contract we’ve ever had.   Financial security, flexibility and freedom are an uncommon Three F’s in this rat race world.  When I’m done posting, I will email a friend and maybe see if another is free for coffee and do an interesting task on that new job.   Yesterday, Muri and I went Christmas shopping for our three beautiful grandkids, always a treat, and next week, we will drive the almost 400 miles to share Thanksgiving week with them in our own Little House in the Desert.   There’s a crisp autumn breeze blowing through through my car and the lake in front of me is full of mallards, coots and fat Canada geese.  Walkers stroll … or stride … by in ones and twos, about seventy percent of them walking … or being walked by … two or three pooches.  I am a cat person, but even though I’m sometimes jealous of how dog people get to take their pets along, it’s fun to watch how much they enjoy them.  And when I get home, Mr. P will be waiting for me, meowing his Siamese head off.  I am a very lucky man.

And yet.  This Monday, smiles take effort.  I feel like I am surrounded by evidence of aging.  Fortunately, the evidence in Muri and I is of a minor nature, little aches or some late afternoon tiredness of an unwelcome sentitivity to certain foods.   But in friends and family, the situation is worse.  Words like Alzheimer’s, dementia, fibromyalgia amd palsy darken our conversations.   We watch people slow and conversation become stilted or all but impossible reptitions of conversations before.   It’s hard not to see ourselves down the road and it almost seems heartless to be grateful that it’s not us now.   I’ve never liked the sort of gratitude that seems to come at others expense.

Two paragraphs.  Glass half full, glass half empty.  Grateful for the best in my life and grateful not to have the worst.  Out of that, I can piece together a few smiles. It’s Monday.  I’m smiling.

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