Quote of the Day: “How much larger your life would be if yourself could become smaller in it; if you could really look at other men with common curiosity and pleasure… You would begin to be interested in them, because they were not interested in you. You would break out of this tiny and tawdry theatre in which your own little plot is always being played, and you would find yourself under a freer sky, in a street full of splendid strangers.” GK Chesterton
I like that I’m in this place where I’m not thinking about or worried for my survival every day. At least, it’s not forefront in my mind. It does hit me every now and then and that dread feeling comes back. You feel like you’re no longer sharing the same goal of life as those around you that perhaps your life may take a different path, that you may have to transition to a different realm, that you may have to start preparing yourself for that reality. One aspect of clinging to each day so desperately is that it makes you so grateful for each snowfall, each sunset. It is like seeing something for the first time knowing that it might be the last time all while having this understanding of the significance of such a beautiful scene. It’s this heightened appreciation for all that life is offering you. Then, as always, we become complacent about all that we are given. It’s human nature but we have to fight against it.
I do appreciate being “changed” in profound ways through my experiences of 2011. It’s as if I was given this crash course opportunity to develop my character more fully but as I ease back into every day “normal” life and start to feel all those feelings of envy, frustration, or impatience in dealing with people or situations that occur, I have to go back and remember what I learned and how I want to live my life.
And then I watch my Tennis & Tutoring kids and I learn so much from them. They have hard lives. They are dealing with so many issues at such young ages. I think this is why Alex, Katie and I are so drawn to them. Alex and Katie are volunteering their time and have been amazing teachers, mentors and friends to these kids. The kids look up to them and think they are so cool. This service has all these great elements to it. You get to work with youth, teach them a sport- tennis- that has all these analogies to life including honesty, sportsmanship, courtesy to your opponent. You also feel like you are making a difference all while forging these great bonds. Yesterday, the students’ school got out early so we told them to come just for the tennis portion. We had only 3 show up but we were able to give them so much attention that in 1.5 hours their learning of tennis really improved. One girl, who, heretofore, I haven’t really been able to get to know very well, left so empowered about her serve. She was getting so consistent. I loved that you could feel how she felt about herself and that is what we want to give them, hoping that if they feel empowered in one area of their life, that may give them courage to excel in other areas. I look at my granddaughters, Maggie and Kate, and they have been given much but all the children at TNT deserve the same. Some of our TNT kids will head to junior-high next year and I fear for them. That is such a hard time unless your life is very grounded. My dream is that they will be able to continue in the program, that we will be able to really provide a safe place for them to come, a place where they can be positively mentored.
I feel so loved by Carol Skeen- once again the most beautiful cookies landed on my doorstep!