I’ve had a bad case of the winter blues the past few days. Not only has it been cold and rainy and gray here in North Georgia, but something about taking down the Christmas decorations and opening up those post-holiday credit card bills just sucks the will to live right outta me.
Not only that, but my dear friend Patty just lost her mother to a 22-month battle with pancreatic cancer. Yesterday was the visitation and service and it was just heartbreaking. The service was beautiful though – a true celebration of a wonderful life well-lived.
I haven’t been to many funerals in my life, kinehora (ya’ll, that is Yiddish for “knock on wood”), but going to one always scrambles my eggs for a few days, and not in a good way. Especially if it is an open casket. Lawd. That always shakes me to the core. Those standardized tests in high school that told me I would be a good mortician were just flat out wrong.
Coming to grips with our mortality is just hard. Plain and simple. But a good funeral can be just the ticket to get you off your ass and get you on the road to a better life.
My friend Patty handled her Mom’s passing with such dignity, grace, and love. It was truly an honor to witness. The four grandchildren all made special treasures to place in the casket with her – painted rocks and a signed baseball. Patty even did her Mom’s makeup and hair that morning, herself, because she knew exactly how her Mama would want to look. She was laid to rest in a gorgeous white nightie that she had chosen herself when she knew her time was near. I was just blown away by the love and loss of this great lady.
It was a very emotionally draining day. But it made me want to come home and live the fullest life I can carve out for myself… to be a better wife, mom, daughter, sister, friend, neighbor, and parishioner. Made me feel grateful for the healthy life I’ve lived so far and made me want to take steps to ensure that I can stay healthy in the years to come. And it made me want to stop watching Bret Michael’s Rock of Love Bus on Sunday nights on VH1. Seeing 20 slutty silicone-augmented women fight over an aging has-been rock star is just not contributing one iota to my goals for leading a fuller life… even if the episode where that skank stuck a shot glass in her vajayjay and then was (surprisingly) not invited to continue on the tour was mildly entertaining in a “I-just-saw-a-train-wreck-and-can’t-avert-my-eyes-from-the-carnage-lying-next-to-the-tracks” kind of way. Ewwww.
So, yeah. I need to make some changes ’round here if I’m going to break out of this winter funk and live a fuller life.
And that brings me to my tip for the day. It is Tuesday after all and you know I love to share simple advice for better living in my semi-regular “Just the Tip Tuesday” columns.
My advice today is to go outside and “blow the stink off.” That is what one of my favorite Aunties likes to call the simple act of taking a walk. If you just go outside and take a walk, it is amazing how much better you will feel. It clears your head, gets your heart pumping, releases those feel-good endorphins that help you to keep on keeping-on. It’s all good.
I just got back from blowing the stink off with Bucket Head and I tell you what, I feel like a million pesos… which is much better than I felt an hour ago. It’s a journey… we’ll work up to a million dollars. One stink at a time.