Yesterday, we went to Tuscaloosa and had a wonderful time along with about a gazillion other members of Tide Nation. We went to a tailgate that we were invited to and had a shockingly beautiful day after the heat-choking existence we'd come to acknowledge and whine incessantly about otherwise known as the month of August. We visited the Phi Mu house, saw folks we knew, and spent twenty minutes with Jill, her boyfriend, and his two roommates. You know, one of those really great days that has nothing particularly special about it, but was overall certainly worth repeating. We'll be doing that again this weekend. Yay us!
While walking back from the Phi Mu house to the Quad to pick up our "stuff", I saw these barriers outside of Bryant-Denny Stadium that were used to keep traffic off of Colonial Drive. Apparently, I was so fixated on making sure that I didn't walk into one, that I failed to note a change in the pavement. However, my feet certainly found it, and I was - in an instant - transported into the air involuntarily. Let's just say that it was a pretty long ten second journey, but I hopped up, looked around, and kept walking. The only casualties were the cup of water I was carrying...and my pride.
It was water. I promise.
It made me laugh (later, after the bruised pride settled down and I realized that ESPN did not film it for the "Tailgating in the South" highlight reel) that I took "tailgating" and "Roll Tide" far too literally for one afternoon.
Life is like that, isn't it? One day, you are walking around enjoying the sunshine, the spirit of fun and the wonder of life, and the next minute you are sprawled out on your rear end in front of hundreds of strangers. I've learned that this is pretty much the way that it is meant to be for me. I have serious highs and terrible lows like everyone else...but I also appreciate the mundane stretches of my life. I used to grumble...but got tired of expending the energy. For the most part, that's pretty much the way I roll.
We didn't have tickets to the game when we drove two hours to walk around campus for six hours to then drive two hours home. We would love to be able to go to a game now and then, but we just haven't mustered up the courage to even attempt to find that in our budget...and so we do what we can. Sometimes we are fortunate that we score some tickets because of someone's generosity, but the likelihood of that happening this year (reigning National Champions)is about as likely as someone from Publishers' Clearinghouse showing up at my door with balloons and an oversized check. But that's fine. I can dream, can't I?
I think that a lot of people don't really enjoy their lives because there is always someone who has more, always something they don't have that they want, or something that refuses to fall into place the way that they would like it. They get stuck because they just refuse to accept that every single one of us has far more than we need and definitely far more than we deserve.
Life rolls on at a pace that is alarmingly fast. I see people all of the time who cannot believe that my children are as old as they are. I open the hometown paper every week and most of the time I know - or at least have heard of - the folks being feted at engagement parties or featured in the wedding writeups. In fact, it won't be long before those writeups will be featuring the friends of my children. Time rolls on...
I suppose that my tumble yesterday made me realize how fast something can change. A diagnosis. A telephone call in the middle of the night. A job relocation. We are on one trajectory with our lives without a care in the world...and the next we are flailing through the air.
Love your life. Embrace what God has given you. It may not be the package you asked for or what you worked so diligently for, but it is what it is. Change what you can, accept what will never be, and appreciate all that is. Because what "is" rolls along pretty quickly too...morphs into something else before you know it...and then you are just frantically trying to figure out where all of the time went. In my case, a lot of it was wished away...which is really sad to me now.
Today I am none the worse for wear. A little sore...a skinned knee and some road scratches, but nothing ER-worthy, thankfully. This was a minute detail compared to what a family in Florida dealt with last week when they buried a daughter who was a sophomore Phi Mu at University of Alabama. Flowers from every Greek organization on campus and Phi Mus on other campuses were all over the house...sent as an expression of love and concern for the girls who were grieving. Those are the kind of tumbles that have to be put in much larger hands for cradling before you can roll again. Time will pass, and the clouds will roll away, and the sunshine will eventually begin to shine for them again. That's my prayer for them and for the family anyway.
Roll with whatever life brings you today...I know I'm trying. A little banged up...but ready to Roll with the Tide again this Saturday. Just hopefully a little less literally.