Life Lessons

I received an e-mail several years back titled “Life’s Handbook” and several points expressed in the writings touched me. You might say I learned something from it, or was reminded of things.

In fact, that same week was pretty informative for me on several levels. You know all those stories you hear about someone being victimized because an unscrupulous person got hold of their bank or credit-card account information? Well, I learned those stories are not just happening to “other” people. To my surprise, I now know it can happen to me.

The e-mail I mentioned instructed that I should not compare my life to that of others. “You have no idea what their journey is all about.” Is that something like don’t jump from the pan into the fire?

Also, “Don’t take yourself so seriously; no one else does,” and “don’t waste your precious energy on gossip. Dream more while you are awake, and envy is a waste of time.” All GREAT advice to include in a handbook about life.

There are a couple of my own I might proffer here that have to do with emails. I do not accept that I will receive special blessings from God or anyone else if I forward an email to 10 people I know. I will forward an email if it amuses me or if it says something profound that I want to share, but I always take off that paragraph at the end that claims outlandish rewards in my future if forwarded and I don’t send it to everyone in my contact list. Only a few of them would be interested in receiving an email like this from me and those are the ones to whom I send it.

Following is an example of one of those paragraphs:
“If you received this, it is because someone cares for you. If you’re too busy to take the few minutes that it takes right now to forward this, would it be the first time you didn’t do the little thing that would make a difference in your relationships? I can tell you it certainly won’t be the last.”

Talk about a guilt trip. But I don’t buy into those and I remove those paragraphs before sending on.

The last and maybe the most important thing I learned recently, at least for the immediate future, is those treadmills driven by electricity keep moving even when you stop walking.

My daughter burst into laughter at the mental picture that lesson presented her. Actually, I prefaced it with “You’ll never guess what happened to me,” and she guessed it. I think she knows me better than I thought. And, what my husband said first is, I hope no one there knew your last name.

No one did, at least I’m pretty sure of that. Although, one really nice and considerate man removed his ear plugs and asked me if I was okay. I was, but my humiliation level was over the top.

One of my Facebook friends said she has had a similar experience and then I didn’t feel so stupid. But, in all fairness, let me say I got distracted by the little TV on the treadmill and just forgot to move my feet. Once you miss a step it’s really hard to overcome.

My daughter’s still laughing… and so am I.

I think some of the most powerful life lessons can be found almost anywhere and sometimes they come through Country Western music as in a song titled “I Hope You Dance,” as sung by Lee Ann Womack: “I hope you never lose your sense of wonder, You get your fill to eat but always keep that hunger, May you never take one single breath for granted, GOD forbid love ever leave you empty handed, I hope you still feel small when you stand beside the ocean, Whenever one door closes I hope one more opens, Promise me that you’ll give faith a fighting chance, And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance. I hope you dance.”

So now, I leave you with this advice: Life may not be the party we hoped for, but while we are here we might as well dance. I intend to dance. Join me.

Joyce Godwin | Joyce@CedarbrookMedia.com

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