Never a Good Time

The book club I’m part of has one very convenient feature: two of our members are Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library librarians. They label and check out our books for us, and when book club is over, they gather them up and return them. So last month, when it happened that neither librarian could attend, we all looked at each other blankly and asked ourselves, “How will the books get back?” Lisa volunteered to take them.

There was no particular reason that Lisa should have been the one to do it. Continue reading “Never a Good Time”

Death of a Lobster

I found a restaurant in Santa Monica that sells lobsters for $45 apiece. I’m no expert, but I get the impression the price can go a lot higher at an elegant establishment. Here, the dock price is $6.

It’s a temptation that can’t be resisted. Several times I’ve gone into the kitchen to find lobsters crawling around the counters as one or another of our housemates prepares for dinner. Continue reading “Death of a Lobster”

Thoughts After Calling 911

From looking up her symptoms on WebMD it seems she may have stopped breathing very briefly, and her body was trying to make up for it.  Suffice it to say that hearing her grunting and snorting while her eyes rolled back and her unconscious body jerked and her head hung back at an unnatural angle – and then having it all stop so suddenly and so completely that I wondered for a moment if she had died – was unnerving enough. Continue reading “Thoughts After Calling 911”

Making Hay

I’m not sure if it falls under Murphy’s Law, or a corollary, or if I can claim it for my own, but it never fails: if you have been putting off a specific task, as soon as you resolve to do it, something will happen to prevent you:

If you mean to exercise, you’ll break your toe.

If you’ve been meaning to start saving, you’ll suddenly take a pay cut.

If you’ve wanted to hang out more with a particular friend, they will move away/ leave town extendedly/ have a time-consuming family emergency.

The examples are endless. The solution, too, comes in many familiar forms: Seize the day. Just do it. Make hay while the sun shines. Eat, drink, and be merry (or spend more time with your family, make a will, or volunteer for a worthwhile cause) for tomorrow you die.

It is a lesson, I admit, that I am frequently reminded of but have yet to learn completely. Make hay while the sun shines.

But then, when you do get hit by that sudden rainstorm (or flu, or headache, or life’s general unpredictability), what do you do? To be sure, it’s harder to make hay. But instead of crying out against cruel fate and resigning yourself to whatever is streaming on Netflix, you could always make soup. Read that book that’s been sitting on your shelf for the last year. Call that friend who moved away before you could hang out more often. Surely not everything you’ve been meaning to do requires a sunny day (or the use of whatever body part you’ve injured, or… )

“Make hay while the sun shines” implies that you can only accomplish things when all circumstances are fortuitous. Of course, you should take advantage of those opportunities. But perhaps the better advice is: Seize all the days – the sunny and the rainy ones.

Ground Rules

The nonstop motion of the last week was rewarded by a great dinner with a wonderful group of friends and family.

I thought the moral of the story was going to be along the new-agey lines of “envision the outcome you desire and it will be so” and actually, having prepared how I was going to handle the usual source of friction (yes, I know, I am weird for not wanting anyone to help clear the table), it never came up. I’m not sure why preparing for the worst guarantees that you’ll never need to use that preparation, but it seems to work that way.

The real reminder that this is life, and life seems to have an aversion to following plans, lay in the schedule. Continue reading “Ground Rules”