Leaning into life

I know it may not bode well to begin a blog talking about binge-watching this past season of Grey’s Anatomy. To be fair I didn’t watch all the episodes but enough to be all caught up with Meredith and the goings-on at this particular Seattle hospital. 

Despite it being a fictional show, it highlighted much of what the last year has been and all the ways that life continued, oddly at times, but life did continue on. Most of us feel like we shouldn’t be charged for last year, we didn’t use it. It was more like the good china we get with our wedding registry and then keep safely packed away. Many of us last year were safely packed away in our homes. Of course, there are countless who did not have the ability/luxury to work from home. Regardless, last year highlighted for each of us what we value, where our proverbial lines in the sand have been drawn and just how flexible we are emotionally and otherwise.

Photo by Brett Sayles on Pexels.com

In a particular episode, this exchange caught my attention:

Lexi asks Meredith, what is your favorite thing?

Meredith responds with, there is a global pandemic! People are dying in record numbers!

Lexi challenges her, you’re not allowed to enjoy your life because people are dying in record numbers? If the having of a body and a life isn’t cause for celebration then what’s the point of avoiding death? If you’re not going to enjoy it then you may as well join them.

While bold and maybe more than a bit provocative she has a point whether she’s a fictional person or not!

I am not suggesting that we flaunt our momentary good fortunes in the face of those suffering but we often use others’ suffering as a “good reason” to not take the chance, do the scary thing, live our whole life! Another term for that is a “good excuse.” Why are we always looking for an excuse to not dare in this life? Why are we always so quick to settle for the safest possible option? And by safe, I am not specifically referring to saving yourself from physical danger. We don’t speak up, we don’t speak out, we keep life small enough to fit in our pocket. Why? Because we are afraid and we are drawn to safety. But we forget time and again that this comes at a cost, too. Dreams unrealized or even attempted. Risks never taken may keep us relatively safe and also highly unfulfilled. No risk, no reward. No living, no life.

Don’t get me wrong, this is not me preaching from the high pulpit. I have to remind myself almost daily to take the risk. Sometimes the risks are relatively minimal but I can find all kinds of reasons to avoid them. Make the appointment, post the idea, start the new hobby, say yes to dinner, and no to laundry. 

We feel cheated by the pandemic in one way or a million. Our plans were messed up, thwarted, or utterly ruined. There may even be days that you whisper to yourself, I hate this. It’s OK, you’re not alone. I heard the poet Jericho Brown say recently that we must interrupt the complacency of the day-to-day. 

We fall into the rhythm of weeks that quite literally put us to sleep, on auto-pilot, and then when we wake up we are so bothered by the realization that we’ve been asleep that our answer is to return to slumber to ease the pain. Round and round we go, or at least round and round I know I have gone. 

Lean into this life. It is 100% guaranteed that it is not always going to go the way you planned, hoped, or wished. Sometimes it may go even better than your wildest dreams. Sometimes it will swing the other way. But if you are paying attention the pendulum keeps swinging it doesn’t stop unless you do.

What is your favorite thing?

Sunshine & Sarcasm,
Lowi & G

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