Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Laugh, Think, Cry.....

Recently I wrote about watching the ESPN '30 for 30' film about Jim Valvano, and specifically the speech he gave at the ESPYS shortly before he passed.   He could barely walk up the steps to the podium, and, in fact, needed assistance.  He was only days from the end of his physical existence here on earth.  Encased within that amazing 1993 speech he said something that has stuck with me, and that I think about almost every day.  He said, in essence, no matter what else you may do every day be sure you do these three things:

1) Take time every day to 'laugh'
2) Take time every day to 'think'.....some might use the term 'meditate'
3) Take time every day to 'cry'

We all intellectually understand that our days on this earth are numbered from the moment we are conceived......not that we actually know that at know what I mean.  That we don't know the exact number of days makes it easy to live life just be pushed along by life's events without taking time to reflect, to laugh, to cry.  We spend too much least I did....worrying about what other's think of us.  What Jim Valvano found out after he received his death sentence was all the stuff we clutter our lives with when we think life is endless is unimportant.  He came to realize that for him there were three essential things to do every day.  Those three things may not resonate with you, or many others for that matter, but they resonated with me somewhere deep down in my soul that night, and have stayed with me ever since.

The laughing part is what comes easy to me......I have always laughed every day.  I see humor in a lot of things........sometimes it is a little irreverent, but that's just me.  It's important to be able to laugh at yourself, too, don't you think?  TLE will tell you that one of the things that drew her to me was my sense of humor.

The trick is, I guess, to live like that every day when you don't have a death sentence hanging over your head.  Each day I do try to take time to think about my children, and how unique each of them is.......about my amazing wife, and how different my life would have been without her.......about my friends (new and old) and how they have played, and are playing a part in who I have become, and my continuing evolution as a person today.  I still think about my father, Art, who passed  37 years ago.....he understood how to live life, and as I think back over the 28 years I had him in my life I am amazed at the simple wisdom he attempted to impart to an arrogant, idealistic young man.  The wisdom was not just in the words he spoke, but in how he lived life on his own terms.  I now find myself quoting him to my kids, my wife, my friends.

When I was young I was embarrassed when tears came to my eyes in public, but as I have gotten older it doesn't seem to matter anymore.  Of course, I think it is important what you cry about.  Crying because you feel sorry for yourself is not a good least not on a regular basis.  I find myself crying most often when I am extremely happy, or remembering poignant, sentimental moments, or at a moving scene in a movie, or passage in a book.  Sometimes I just look at TLE across the way and feel tears welling in my eyes.

A wonderful bi-product of this nomadic life we lead is it is easier to find the time to laugh, think and cry every day.  Why?....because we are living life more simply, and with fewer distractions.  If you are interested in watching the video of this speech, or just to read the transcript click 'here'.

As my friend Nina would say......I know I've gotten a little 'squishy' and 'floppy' today, but that's where I'm at back to regularly scheduled programming.......what did Tuesday look like in the Verde Valley?

I spent the morning working on a couple of small projects in the trailer, and then around 11 we drove into Cottonwood.....I needed some 22 gauge stranded wire to finish one LED project, and I was pretty sure the local Radio Shack would have what I needed......after that we had no specific plans.  Sure enough Radio Shack did have the wire I needed, and then we were off to 'Old Town' to browse one more time through Larry's Antiques and Stuff, and then 'A Checkered Past' before heading over to the Tavern Grille for lunch.  They have outdoor dining which is always an immediate attraction for us.  Yelp gives them 4 stars on 88 reviews, and we would agree without hesitation.  I had their BLTA (bacon, lettuce, tomato and avocado) with sweet potato fries, and TLE had two mini sandwiches (chicken with cranberry cream cheese & ham and cheese) along with a bowl of their soup du jour.

This was probably the second best BLTA I have ever eaten, and I savored every single bite.......and those sweet potato fries......OMG!  It was a delightful day to sit outside eating amazing food!

On the way home we stopped off at a truck tire shop (Interstate Tire and Auto) located just on the east side of I-17 off Arizona 260.  Just after we arrived at the NFS land near Cottonwood a few weeks ago I was sitting outside in my lounge chair one day reading when I noticed that one of the lugs was missing on the right rear dually tires we recently had replaced back in January.  Those lugs are over 33 years old now, so I decided to have them all replaced, and that was the reason for our stop at Interstate.  I made an appointment for Saturday (the day we check out of the Krazy K RV Park) to have this done before heading back up to the NFS land for another week.

The rest of the afternoon I spent time replacing the LED waterproof strip lighting I had installed under the passenger side rocker panel a little over a year ago.  I had not done a good job of protecting the wire and it was damaged over time.  I ended up removing the LED strip lighting and starting over again with some I had ordered over a year ago, but never used.  This time I wired it up completely differently, and I think it will be more durable this time.

Thanks for stopping by!

1 comment:

  1. It'll be NO surprise to you that I LOVED this post. What an excellent reflection on life in general!



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