Friday, August 18, 2017

What's Your Hurry?

Thought for the day:  Calvin: Today for show and tell, I've brought a tiny miracle of nature: a single snowflake! I think we might all learn a lesson from how this utterly unique and exquisite crystal turns into an ordinary, boring molecule of water just like every other one when you bring it into the classroom. And now, while the analogy sinks in, I will be leaving you drips and going outside. [Bill Watterman]

I think maybe one of the reasons so many people loved the cartoon Calvin and Hobbes so much is the unique and hilarious way Calvin's mind worked. His antics made us laugh, but there was always a grain of truth in his little-boy philosophies.

Like when he compared himself to a snowflake. Works for me. We are all unique in some way, but one other thing we all share with snowflakes is in the end, we all eventually melt. Our finite lifespan isn't cause for despair, though. On the contrary. I see it as all the more reason to squeeze as much meaning out of each day as we can.

The following post originally appeared in April, 2011 as Dashing Through Life. Here it is again, with some gentle editing. I hope y'all enjoy it. (Yes, I'm still editing and rewriting... and may be for a looooong long time. I wish editing a book took as much time as editing a blog post...)

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Thought for the day:  I've learned that you shouldn't go through life with a catcher's mitt on both hands. You need to be able to throw something back.  Maya Angelou


It'd be a lot easier if life were laid out like a marked highway, wouldn't it? All we'd have to do is keep our eye on that center line and follow the road straight to our final destination. No guesswork involved. No tough decisions. Why, there'd even be signs to warn us of the bumpy patches ahead, and of the dips we're likely to encounter.





And just think! If we doze off and start to wander off-track, by golly, there'd be signs to tell us:

Just think how many divorces could have been avoided!


But, in truth, life would be rather boring if it were all laid out for us. Where's the spirit of adventure in that? Even though I'm directionally challenged, I love exploring those little dirt roads in life.

Years ago, my husband and I spent several unforgettable getaway weekends at a mountain cabin with some very dear friends. Like me, Smarticus also likes to venture off the beaten path. Thankfully, he has an uncanny sense of direction to go with it, so as long as I stick with him, I'll always find my way home again. Our friends, on the other hand, preferred the safety of the paved road and the well-worn path. One day, while the four of us were tromping along a trail through the woods, I heard the distant sound of water. Natch, I got all excited and took off through the woods. And natch, so did my husband. Our friends stayed glued to the marked trail at first, but quickly decided it was scarier to stay behind than it'd be to follow us. We encountered a multitude of large trees, downed and tangled, so we climbed over them. Ran into brambles galore, but we kept going. But as we climbed through and over the obstacles, the sound of water got louder and louder, until we finally emerged into a sun-lit clearing. It was worth every single scratch and bug bite we'd endured and every bead of sweat we'd perspired. For there we were, beside a small, secluded waterfall.

And we would've missed that beautiful moment if we hadn't been willing to take the scenic path. The detour. It's wonderful to have a clear destination in mind, but the trip is so much more enjoyable if we learn to enjoy the scenery along the way. Children insist on becoming adults, and you'll only have one shot at enjoying their childhoods. Our parents grow old and die, and then there's no time left to chat with them on the phone or to stop in for a visit. Our friends pass away, or move away, or simply leave our lives. Shouldn't we enjoy them while we can? I originally planned on calling my blog Never2Late. That very much reflects my optimistic viewpoint of life, but the unpleasant truth is ... sometimes, it IS too late.


Sorry! I've gotta dash!
Hurry, hurry, hurry. No time to stop and chat. No time to listen to the response after you ask someone how they're doing. Gotta dash, gotta dash.

I want to leave you with another thought about our mad dash through life.

The Dash is an inspirational poem that was written in 1996 by Linda Ellis, and her words have inspired millions of people all over the world. She writes about that little line, that simple dash on a tombstone that represents the real story of a lifetme, that defines who we are beyond a simple beginning and end date, and touches, simply and succinctly, on what's truly important in life. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.



How about you? Are you strictly goal-oriented, or do you enjoy life's surprising detours? Whichever category you fall into, I hope you'll always try to carpe  the hell out of each diem. Let's enjoy our dash, shall we?

                              Until next time, take care of yourselves. And each other.


51 comments:

  1. Awesome post. I love goals but it has to be flexible enough to allow detours!

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    1. Thanks. It's sounds like you've figured out how to strike a happy medium. :)

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  2. Goal oriented? Me? Cue hysterical laughter. I muddle along and detours are just fine.
    I also adore Calvin and Hobbes and I hope that Bill Watterson who I believe is now a full time painter shares his work in the fullness of time.

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    1. HA! Not goal-oriented, eh? I bet you unconsciously set and meet little ones just about every day, but I'm not at all surprised that you enjoy exploring life through detours.

      I hope he does, too.

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  3. I don't think I've ever had any goals to follow, that's why I'm such a drifter. I just let things happen and go with the flow. Maybe this lifetime is a resting place for me, maybe I was super goal-oriented last time around, or maybe I'm meant to be that way in my next life.

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    1. A "go with the flow" attitude is much less stressful than getting freaked out by a to-do list, but like EC, I bet you make and meet many little goals every day, too. (I got out of bed... I made breakfast... I read the newspaper... etc. etc.) :) See? Set the bar low enough, and we ALL meet goals!

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  4. Detours are fine by me, unless they take me to hillbilly land where shotguns abound, then I quickly turn around lol taking the time out for the things that truly matter sure is the way, because can be gone in an instant and then too late indeed.

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    1. You've gotta beware of the banjo music, too. :)

      For sure. Whether we want to accept it or not, our supply of time is limited.

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  5. Life is full of detours; some take us to roads less traveled, and others get us home the long way. Good, bad, short or long, it is all part of the adventure.

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  6. I still love Calvin and Hobbes! I have all the books and now I want to go read through them all again. :)

    That Maya Angelou quote is excellent!

    Detours scare me, but I'm trying to be more open, take more chances, experience more waterfalls. :)

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    1. Me, too! I've had a C&H comic strip on my bulletin board for years, and it still makes me laugh every time I look at it. It shows an undressed Calvin standing in a toilet bowl in the first frame. Then he flushes, and while he spins around madly, he's yelling, "Wheee!" and laughing. In the last panel, he's dressed and telling his mother, "I'm done with my bath." She says, "That was quick." (I swear, I can imagine one of my sons doing that when he was little.)

      Good for you! We can never see too many waterfalls.

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  7. Powerful video!

    Love that you saw the waterfall.

    My dash...is turning out ok, but it's so quiet...

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    1. If your dash is too quiet, maybe you should turn up the music. (Or learn how to play the drums...)

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  8. What aa beautiful, beautiful poem. Certainly gives one pause for though.

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  9. I definitely enjoy detours. I don't think I'd be leading my current life if I wasn't open to the detours along the road.

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    1. HA! For sure. You should be the poster child for adventurers.

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  10. Susan, I enjoyed this more so than anything I've seen in a very long while. Normally I'm a 'stick-to-the-paved-path' sort, but today found myself wanting to follow you and your hubby to that secluded waterfall. Thank you for the re-run!

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    1. Heck, if you're willing to follow someone away from the well-worn path, you'll be ready to lead the way to the secluded waterfall before you know it. :)

      Thanks. I'm glad you enjoyed it.

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  11. I would definitely run towards the waterfall, I like safe and secure but I love finding new things like the waterfall.

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  12. As always wonderful post.
    I wander off a lot maybe not the same as a detour but I do wander around.
    love Calvin and Hobbes and have read the books over and over again.
    After a wildfire burned down my home, every night before I closed my eyes I read a few pages of CandH. I wanted to go to sleep with happiness and not sadness.

    cheers, parsnip

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    1. Wandering is a good as a detour in my book.

      I'm really glad C&H were able to help you handle the trauma of the fire. That must have been horrific. I have a feeling those comics helped a lot of people escape to a better place.

      Cheers back atcha.

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  13. Hi Susan - Calvin and Hobbes ... just wonderful - always something thought provoking to think about: that one of bathing in the toilet bowl I hadn't come across - now I'll never forget it!

    I do try and meet deadlines ... but in recent years due to things beyond my little hand control ... I just deviate as I wish. But must settle and achieve more, while stopping all the time to flex my brain muscles at all things earthly ... smell the flowers, read more etc etc ... and most definitely keep the positive flowing - cheers Hilary

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    1. Hi-ya, Hilary.

      Good to know I've "infected" you with the image of Calvin in the toilet. I have some books of their cartoons, but that's the only C&H strip I saved from the newspaper. (Now, I wish I'd saved more of them!)

      I think you do a super job scurrying around to visit new (and old) places and learn new things. (And then you share some of that stuff with US!) We may not be able to do much about the body getting older, but we sure can do our best to stimulate the ol' brain cells. And that you do. :)

      Cheers back atcha.

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  14. I love this post, Susan, and it's definitely worth repeating. My life has been filled with more untraveled roads and unexpected detours than I'd care to remember - but I honestly wouldn't want it any other way. How else would I find the waterfalls?

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    1. BTW - what a gorgeous video!! Extremely touching.

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    2. Hmmm, I detect a new "softness" about you, cowboy. :) Cute kitty.

      I'm glad you enjoyed the post. It kinda sings your song, doesn't it? And yes, finding those unexpected waterfalls always makes the detour worthwhile. I'm glad you liked the video, too. :)

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  15. My whole life has been detours--& I've loved it!!

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  16. I once read a book with the title If you don't know where you're going, you'll end up someplace else. And then I thought, well, maybe "someplace else" is not such a bad place. I do like goals and plans, but with a lot of flexibility built in.

    Love love love Calvin and Hobbes!

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    1. Hmmm, I'd think if you don't know where you're going, how would you know when you get there? And I agree. Someplace else always hold possibilities.

      Me, too! I think we ALL loved Calvin & Hobbes. :)

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  17. I don't have to decide to take the detours. They rise up in front of me and leave me no choice.

    Love,
    Janie

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    1. HA! It sounds more like you're walking a maze!

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  18. I love Calvin and Hobbes. The snowmen...As for detours, I'm afraid I don't like them. I like everything planned, and no surprises unless they're good ones!

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    1. Yes! Those Calvin snowmen are the BEST!

      It would be nice if we could choose to only have good surprises, wouldn't it? But then, they wouldn't be nearly as surprising. :)

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  19. I always enjoy your posts, they make you stop and think.
    Life brings so much ... ups, downs, fun times and sad times, it's what we do ... how we re-act to it that makes life so rich and colourful.

    Make the most of every moment and take time to tell your loved ones that you love them.

    All the best Jan

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    1. Thank you. I'm glad you enjoy some of my posts. :)

      Ab-so-doggone-lutely. We've gotta made the most of those moments, because we never know which one may be the last.

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  20. Sidenote: I hate how a beautiful word like 'snowflake' has been ruined by politics and turned into an insult referring to someone that just disagrees with us. Now I can't hear that word without rolling my eyes.

    And I care less about the end result than the journey. As long as I'm working toward my goals and not slacking off, then I'll gladly take whatever life throws at me.

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    1. YES!!! I totally agree with you. I HATE to hear anyone usurp a perfectly fine word and turn it into something disparaging.

      Good for you. Enjoying the journey is a much less stressful way to live.

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  21. Happy Eclipse Day. Despite potholes, I am willing to meander and detour more and more. Ray and I find more laughs, good food, and fun. Love your waterfall story. That is perfect. Have a super week. Remove that comma...now put it back!

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    1. Happy Day After Eclipse Day! (We had an awesome view of it from our front yard. :)

      I'm glad to hear you're of the meandering crew, too. :)

      You have a super week, too. Hmmm, boy do you ever have my editing number...

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  22. Great post! I like to follow some sort of a plan, but I am also open to occasional side trips and try to be flexible enough to let those extra adventures happen. :)

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    1. Thanks! I'm glad you liked it. Sounds like you've got it figured out... have a basic plan in mind, but don't be chained to it in case something shiny catches your eye. Works for me!

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  23. Awesome post, thank you for sharing. I hope you had a good view of the eclipse.

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    1. Thanks, and thank YOU for reading. :)

      We had a GREAT view of the eclipse from our front yard. I hope you were able to experience it, too.

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  24. I am also open to occasional side trips and try to be flexible enough to let those extra adventures happen. :)


    หนังออนไลน์

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    1. Good for you. Those side trips and extra adventures keep life interesting. :)

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