As I sat near the window minding my own business, and playing on my phone, my son came up to me, gently patted my stomach and told me with a smile, “Seriously, we have to really flatten that curve.”
We laughed and at first, I thought he must have read one too many of my covid articles, that they have already begun to infect his sense of humor. Truth was, I had a curve in the midsection alright, but I have really grown fond of it. Looked nice with a tucked shirt. Right then, an epiphany came and I thought, man-bod or not, “As if I care.”
I remember years ago, I had read a post that I still relate to today. It had said, “The older I get, the more I understand that it’s okay to live a life others don’t understand.” Another saying, ‘I owe it to myself to be consistent, disciplined, and focused’ seems like the accompanying mantra, but still, “as if I care” pretty much says it all for me these days. My soundtrack, if you will.
Mind you, the situation these days hasn’t gotten me senti one bit and it’s definitely not senior years creeping in. Simply put, I now really believe that, one gets to a point when you only pick out what you want, and set aside others that you do not really need.
To keep it timely, take the example of some people who harvest a list of social media friends by the thousands. I’m willing to bet, only a fraction of those qualify as the close ones you hold dear. Personal relationships become more, well person-al and meaningful as one traverses life’s highway, and at the same time, the rest of the thousands on your list will eventually seek their own paths and leave you, as you do the same to them. If I counted all my friends since grade school, I might have my thousands too, and more, but you won’t ever find them on my friends’ list.
Going back, keeping only what is important, will eventually make everything else more simple. A clutch of simple joys, such as a favorite meal (and a bulging stomach), a quiet time, a cackle of children, or whatever you fancy, will eventually win out in the end. As say, buying new material things, going to the malls, parties and such, they consume precious moments that steal what you really like to do.
I’ve a friend who in her senior years has a sanctuary for cats and dogs. She spends her day treating them and taking trips to the vet. I fancy she had lived the full life of luxury and travel but things have slowed down back to the one where she finds her inner peace. Another friend dedicates the time of dusk at his balcony, playing his guitar till mid-evening, with only crickets as audience. There’s another who finds joy in being with the farmhands in their farm as they build their houses nearby, and regale at their evening stories. He sings with them too.
In all, i am reminded of this mexican writer whose name I’ve forgotten (was it Castañeda?), and he once wrote, all one needs is a favorite place to sit and be still, and all else will follow. So, let’s just add “to each his own” to “as if I care”, and be still. Sit like a rock, unmindful of the tempest around you. These two sayings could go pretty well together, if you’re really still on the lookout for some homey flat advice.