I avoid politics like I avoided little green peas on my childhood plate.
There’s so much news, it goes so fast, what seemed so Crisis! yesterday is today barely mentioned, and there it sits, the whole mountain of fuss barely amounts to a crawfish chimney in a flat yard, while off They go, making another false Everest. Journalism seems to be filled with people whose parents never read to them as children, especially about the Boy Who Cried Wolf.
At a safe distance I am observing people, eight years of Obama, and now these Trump years, (10+ years!), who daily churn their lil hearts to bitter butter, either for or against the latest crawfish chimney in the news. Watching them is like a vaccine.
The time I would waste on outrage, I instead spend on actually living my life, to-do’s and all that boring stuff…
Think Upon These Things
I try to think nice thoughts, about what I have, instead of what I haven’t, who I now am, instead of who I used to be, how good I have it, compared to my ancestors.
In avoiding anger, I attract peace. In facing confusion, I look for truth. When looking at a map, I ask how a bird would fly it.
All that do-gooding stuff, it really works. I’m not Mr. Giver, but when I do, I’m not doing it to get, but still I do, get.
Give me a day of boredom over a day of stress. Having known pain, let me never complain of bland.
I’m not Mr. Count My Blessings, but I do it occasionally. Gratitude is like thanking the cook for the meal. So much of the good in my life is here despite myself.
Age Does Some Good
After a while you’ve kinda seen it all. It all looks do-able, get-over-able, no-big-deal-able, all-that-worry-for-nothing-able.
As the outer declines, the inner gains. Age makes me wear cheater glasses, but age lets me see God clearer. That’s not a bad deal.
This is the time of year when youngsters are leaving high school for the great What Next. Watching it, I’m thinking, of what I wish I’d been told. What I’m telling myself now is, Use It yourself, now. I lost decades rabbit trailing around trying to figure life and myself out. I wake up tomorrow, I can just go Point A to Point B, simple.
Sometimes God’s Greatest Gifts Are Unanswered Prayers
When I was a young man I was ambitious for Everything. I’m grateful to still have some want-to, but now I have a smaller menu. Time and trial, been there and done that, I realize that some things aren’t for me.
Money is in its place. All that stuff it was gonna buy me, make me a Somebody, prove I’d Made It, get me some Respect, make people take me Seriously, it took me a while, but I got to the other side of that thinking. I was meant for still water, and money was only going to keep me in the shallows, with the minnows.
I wonder if I could’ve been one of those people, who if I’d struck gold, couldn’t quit mining? Money can be addictive, and there goes your life…
Nature Is Good For My Sanity
Five minutes with a motiveless dog is a fine use of five minutes.
Whether bee on flower, or moss on great oak, it does me good to see the Many and the Much, the Everywhere of nature. I’m not sure why it calms me. Maybe it’s the sense of scale; as it makes me feel smaller, I feel righter, part of something bigger…
People do me good. Not too many, and not too much, but I treasure a say-something conversation, where actual saying gets said.
People who bang into walls aren’t invited within my walls.
There’s a lot of Chicken Little, Sky is Falling noise out there. Looking back gives me perspective. You don’t have to look far to realize that things have been a lot worse, and not long ago.
Looking ahead works too. Every decade seems to be its own little life. I’m early in my sixth decade, and look forward to the Could Be of it.
Knowing who you are makes a fine foundation. I’m long past square ‘n round, pegs and holes. I steer myself away from my flaw side and towards my strong side.
That turn-the-other-cheek thing from the Bible, it’s a poor substitute for nothing happening in the first place, which is where I aim. People, places, things, wrong me once, shame on you, wrong me twice, shame on me. Even a small town is a big world. You be there, I’ll be over here.
One of the secrets to my sanity is being very aware that I am alive. Any of you, my age or older, we’ve all seen better people, more innocent, get cut short. You squat on that thinking for a moment or two and it just don’t sound right, to hear yourself complain, even in the privacy between your two ears.
There’s less worry as you age. I could beat myself like a rented mule, but lookee here, how it all sort of comes together, even the dumb stuff, like something required of the recipe, to bring you to the here-you-are. Something greater than me is unifying the history of me. I feel gathered, strands joining, a strange sense of qualification, for whatever is next.
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This edition of Uncle P’s Bedtime Stories is dedicated to people who use their heads for more than hat holders.
Email Uncle P at email@example.com to request copies of Volume I of Uncle P’s Bedtime Stories.