Saturday, January 2, 2010

My Conversation with John, Oprah, Ellen, Jim, and Peggy

To paraphrase the British philosopher John Winston Lennon ; blogs are what happens on the way to writing a blog.

This morning I was going to simply create a long list of some of the BEST quotations having to do with the new year and new beginnings but in doing a little research that idea altered itself. I stumbled across some things that made me think more than I had planned to today. (As I write this, I'm supposed to be washing clothes at the laundromat down the road and reading the book I have to finish before I can read my Christmas book which is the sequel.)

All that is left of my original idea are a few quotes. My apologies to Joey Adams, John Wayne, and Mark Twain.

Cheers to a New Year and another chance for us to get it right.
Oprah Winfrey

Oprah got that right. We usually have pretty good ideas but often they simply don't turn out the way we thought they would. We need to learn how to redefine the things we do in order to have them live up to our expectations. We need to remember that God does answer prayers but we can't dictate His answers.

Deciding to shed 20 lbs before devouring all the Lindt chocolates and cookies we found in our Christmas stockings or resolving to save all our money for the future instead of indulging in a bit of joy for today may not always be the BEST way to go. Both ideas are valid but perhaps timing or our perspective could be tweaked a little.

If I buy into the latest technology because it is efficient, convenient, or "necessary" what will I sacrifice? If I send Christmas Cards electronically to save a tree, what happens to the personal touch and the joy that Aunt Marge or the "Borrowed Grandchildren" receive when they find mail in their mailboxes they can look at again in June?

What happened to the person who used to have a job in the card publishing plant? Perhaps taking the time to purchase real cards made from recycled paper, printed with recycled ink, and drawn by an artist who donated her work to a worthy cause might save more than a tree.

I apologize to any who sent me an e-card this year. I do not mean to belittle them. Thank you for the thought. I enjoyed them for a moment but my memory is not as good as it used to be. Now I only remember one e-card and I'm not sure who sent it.
And, unfortunately, Jim didn't see most of them.

The other quote I decided to use is from syndicated columnist, Ellen Goodman . Yesterday was her last column after more than thirty years. She has had a lot to say in her career that is just as relevant now as whenever she wrote it. A past New Year's message is actually very close to what both Oprah and I were saying. (HA! Did I really just put Oprah Winfrey and myself in the same conversation? No wonder they call her America's BEST Girlfriend. And now Ellen Goodman too. Am I being a tad presumptuous here?)

We spend January 1 walking through our lives, room by room, drawing up a list of work to be done, cracks to be patched. Maybe this year, to balance the list, we ought to walk through the rooms of our lives, not looking for flaws, but for potential.

Ellen Goodman

In her farewell column, Ellen talks about letting go of the past and redefining the role of Senior Citizen. No longer does that appellation refer to the end stage of life. She points out that today, retirement simply means the chance to get on with life. She's planning many new things for this portion of her journey.

When my oldest girlfriend, Peggy (uh...make that the girlfriend I've had for the longest time) and I were 17 and 18 we were talking about the fact that in only 34 years it would be the turn of the century-the start of a new millennium. We planned to meet again with several other friends for a blow out new year's eve party. IF, of course we were still alive.

"Good grief I'll be 52 years old then" I remember saying in utter disbelief of the possibility. Peggy's calm (as usual) response?
" I'll only be 51, I'll be there." Well, we weren't able to attend that party together after all for several reasons. However, 10 years beyond that astounding date, we are both still alive, kicking, and looking forward to whatever comes after the Senior Citizen stage. Do we get to become Grad Students of Life? I kind of like that idea.

As RVrs, Jim and I have been doing just that. We have been exploring and discovering and learning so many new places and things over the past five years. We have met so many interesting, intelligent,and imaginative people. We, who were such a conservative couple for 35 years, have become more open minded, adventuresome, confident, flexible and even surprised by a new found willingness to enjoy the unexpected. Jim thinks we've become more self-reliant, self-contained, and closer as a couple. We still love and need our family and friends but we are able to be happy just being with one another. We are each other's best friends and that's perfect as we continue along roads not yet traveled.

Okay, so we've had a few setbacks, some physical and some (make that several) financial. Surprise! Each one has caused us to look in a new direction and go on from there. This is a new year and so we're off and running.

My new girlfriend, Oprah also said, "The biggest adventure you can ever take is to live the life of your dreams." You go, Girl!

To return to the beginning, before I paraphrased him, John said,
"Life is what happens while you are making other plans."
and maybe just maybe
"Love is all you need."


See ya down the road,


Geezerguy said...

Great start to the new year, and in good company. Some food for thought...and I've been a little
hungry lately.

Word for the day: balgo...A new hair-restoring product available on-line.

Sage Words said...

This is a great way to kick off the New Year. And being a Grad Student of Life really IS a great way to think of things! Sounds like a good idea for a T-shirt...

-Sage Words

Jenny Johnson said...

Another wonderful post - looking forward to at least 29 more.. you give me inspiration!!!

Anonymous said...

Marcie, we MUST have "ESP" ! During the last few days, I've been remembering that conversation, when we wondered how we could possibly live to be 50 ! We never even thought about 2010 ...
Happy New Year !

"Old" Friend, Peggy

Yarntangler said...

Whew! Am I glad I fixed that line!!!
I am absolutely delighted to find you here on my blog. If you have read them before, you'll know this isn't the first time you've been mentioned. And that ESP thing? This isn't the first time for that either.

Now if you were just on facebook...