Sometimes wisdom can be found in the unlikeliest places. Somewhere in my brain there
resides the memory of an episode of The Mary Tyler Moore Show in which our heroine Mary
Richards is lamenting the monotonous state of her life.
"I wake up. I eat breakfast. I get dressed. I go to work. I come home. I eat dinner.
I go to bed."
It was Ted Baxter, the pompous anchorman more famous for having silver hair than a
silver tongue who saw what Mary's life was missing. He gave her the following advice:
"Wake up! Eat breakfast! Get dressed! Go to work! Come home! Eat dinner! Go to bed!"
Notice the exclamation points. What Mary lacked was enthusiasm, the secret ingredient to a life well-lived.
More often than not, our routine becomes monotonous because we fail to fully experience life
even as we live it. We don't eat dinner. We eat dinner while also reading the newspaper with
a sly eye on the television and with our ear glued to the phone. We hear music while cleaning
the house or while occupying a bar stool, but rarely stop all activities to truly listen to it.
It's not entirely our fault. We live in hectic, fast-paced times but those times are stealing our
lives. Instead of a living a life worthy of an epic novel, we're stuck with the equivalent of Reader's Digest .
The worst thing about living life at an accelerated pace is that we can become impatient in our
relationships. Instead of taking things slowly and getting to know our dates, we may be tempted to
keep watch out of the corner of our eye for a man with a sexier smile or a bigger basket. And
our dates may be doing the same thing to us.
It was probably a Buddhist who said that the meaning of life is life. Instead of taking
each day as it comes, and enjoying whatever pleasure comes our way in each moment, we're
looking off into the distance, waiting for some sort of climax, an orgasmic conclusion,
a pay off. "Where is our relationship going?" is a question we frequently ask of our
lovers when they're not asking it of us, but why does a relationship have to go
somewhere? Isn't the relationship enough? Isn't the relationship itself what it's all about?
So let the snow fall. Let it freeze you in your tracks. Fight the gloom by taking
the time to truly focus on, to experience, all of your activities, even if it's
something as simple as eating a bowl of soup. Put some exclamation points in your
life! Life will never be slower than it is in winter, so take advantage of the season.
© Brian W. Fairbanks, All Rights Reserved.