You know there are people out there where things just seem to fall right into place for them. Everything they own is in great working order, they can go on a diet and actually lose weight, they always look wonderful, their home is immaculate, when they do a project, they have all the tools handy. There is never the need to utter a single word of profanity because you just lost your contact lens while on an moving escalator. To top it all off, the bills are paid and they actually have money left over each paycheck.
Part of me is jealous of people like that, that is if they actually exist. Then I realize how boring and useless that kind of life could be.
I’m one of those people who wake up each morning and know with complete certainty that something is going to happen to make my day a little more bumpy. The daily question is, as I stumble towards my first cup of coffee , is exactly what will be hitting the fan today.
Today is of course no different.
This morning I went to a new dentist. I have dental insurance for the first time in two years, so I figured it was high time to get some plaque removed from my molars. I called my insurance carrier and discovered that there was a dental group about five minutes from my house. The only catch was that they took mostly kids. I didn’t really care, as dentists don’t generally make any money off of my mouth.
I get there, sign in and sit down to wait. I got out the romance novel I had picked up at the library. Why did I get such a book? They are always light on plot, heavy on throbbing. Oh, I know, the title caught my attention. I’m a sucker for catchy titles. So there I sat, flipping quickly through the unrealistic sex scenes in search of some decent dialog when my name was called.
“Ms. Galloway,” The desk attendant said. “There is a problem with your insurance.”
Crap. After a discussion with the insurance company, it was discovered that my policy had been cancelled, essentially the day it was supposed to be enacted. Double crap. I knew they had needed to make a change because of availability, but I had assumed (silly me) that everything had been arranged successfully. After all I’d been paying for the stuff all month long. So I rescheduled my appointment, then went home to email my HR department in hopes of solving my dental insurance mystery.
All that, just because I wanted clean teeth and gums. Why should have I expected anything different?
I remember being asked repeatedly as a child why I tended to do things the “hard way”. To me it wasn’t harder then another, it was just the way I saw worked for me. As I got older that doing things the “hard way” also taught me that life isn’t necessary easy. Just about every single day, something is going to happen to ensure my best laid plans going awry. I’m actually quite used to things happening “the hard way”.
For me, and I suspect for many of us, life done “the hard way” is rather ordinary. In fact for most of us it has its very difficult periods. I certainly have lived through enough of those..and I wasn’t even trying. We get moments where things are wonderful, everything lines up perfectly in all aspects of our lives…then normalcy returns.
If I let it, things like the insurance coverage problem could cause me to fall into a deep funk. But I know it is a minor problem that will be resolved in a few days. I’ve lived through worse, much worse. Having it all, all the time, would be nice, but what is there to gain from it? What could I strive for, overcome, learn from if everything fell into my lap? How would I grow as a person if everything was easy? How could I have compassion for the hurting, a desire to help others need, a sense of sorrow for other’s loss if I myself never experienced it?
Those bumps, that doing the “hard way”, the unexpected turns of the day is what makes life interesting. I don’t talk much about my personal religious beliefs, as they are just that, personal, and is about as unique as I am. But I do know that my faith, my beliefs help me get through that grand quest that is called Sylvie’s Life. It took me awhile to grow into the role of seeker of the purpose of my life. However I think I may have an inkling of what that purpose is, and a glimmer of the how to accomplish it. But then, I may not.
It is in the living of life that seems to matter, with all its bumps, warts and impending pitfalls. It is the figuring things out, regrouping, trying another way, the successes that keep us interested in continuing on. It is in the living where we grow, we share, we encourage, we help, we heal. It is in the living where we learn how not to do things, maybe not for our own benefit, but for those that observe us. It is in the living, with all that life has to throw at us, good or bad, that makes it anything but boring or worse purposeless.
One of my favorite old movies is Auntie Mame starring Rosalyn Russell. In the film Mame tells her assistant, “Live, Live Live! Life is a banquet, and most poor suckers are starving to death.”
While the main character in that film took life a little to firmly by the horns, she lived her motto to the fullest. She looked at obstacles as opportunities. She learned from her mistakes, and she impacted the lives of everyone she met. Yes Mame Dennis was a fictional character, but the theme of her life has tempered the theme of mine. I have no intention of starving.