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HONORING MY MOTHER| In the Key of B Flat

I was by the window minding my own business texting when my son came up to me and gently patted my stomach, “Seriously, we have to really flatten that curve.” We laughed, and at first, I thought he must have read some of my old COVID articles again…infecting his sense of humor. I have a curve in my midsection, alright. One I’ve grown fond of because it looked nice on a tucked shirt.  Thereafter, an epiphany came, and I thought, man-bod or not, “As if I care.”

I remember years ago, I read a post that said, “The older I get, the more I understand that it’s okay to live a life others won’t understand.” That’s also like saying, ‘sticks and stones may break my bones’ or ‘as if I care’. They’re all in the same vein, so at least, I’ve three bases covered.

Simply put, I now believe that one gets to a point where you only pick out what you want and set aside others you don’t really need. 

To keep it timely, some people purposely amass a list of online friends by the thousands, as though people were now in short supply.  As it’s virtually impossible to be personally close to everyone on the list, I’m willing to bet only a fraction of these qualifies as real friends. Probably, the same is true with the cast of thousands in their collection. If I were to include all my friends since grade school, I might have my thousands too, but you won’t ever find all of them in my friends’ list.

Old person talking, keeping only what is more important eventually makes everything else more simple. A clutch of simple joys, such as a favorite meal (and a bulging stomach), quiet time or even a cackle of children. Whatever you fancy will eventually win out in the end. While respecting others whose passion goes into material things, going to the malls, parties and such, they should likewise reciprocate, as some think these consume precious moments that steal at what one feels matters most. 

I remember my late sister’s friend who, in her senior years, had a sanctuary for cats and dogs. She spends her day treating them and taking trips to the vet. Though she had lived the full life of luxury and travel, things have slowed down, and she finds her inner peace in this task. A  friend dedicates the time of dusk to his balcony, playing his guitar till mid-evening, with only crickets as the audience. There’s another who finds joy in being with the farmhands on 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.


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