Here in the South...we normally don't stop at "hey"..."hello"...or "hi"...we tend to add a little something else to it. Most of the time, I will greet someone with "Hey girl!" even if I'm reasonably sure of their name, because it is just what I do. I also tend to call people "honey"..."sweet girl"..."buddy"..."sweet friend"...or "darlin'" in normal conversation. Only occasionally do I ever actually catch myself doing it. And that's really okay. I live in the South...and that seems to be just what we do.
Except that I've noticed that beyond the greeting...we always tend to go one step further...we throw out "How are you?"..."How's it going?"...or "What's up?" right behind it. That's not really a bad thing in itself...except that only about one out of every ten times we ask...we actually wait for the answer.
Anyone caught him/herself doing this other than me? Ever answered with "How are you?" and then just keep walking while totally avoiding eye contact? I've gotten where I will respond, "Fine, thank you." when asked by a salesperson...but I've been known to ask virtual strangers how they are to fill dead air. Strange but true.
Oh, so you've done that too? Yeah, that's pretty much what I thought...
By the way, the person who gets kudos for the best response to the "I'm not thinking and am on auto-pilot so I will ask him how he is"...is Dave Ramsey who answers callers who ALWAYS ask him this (out of habit...and in part to hear him respond, methinks) with...
"Better than I deserve..."
That answer totally rockse, by the way. Because no matter what kind of craziness your life is experiencing, how bad you think you feel, how disappointed you might be with your lot in life, or how incredibly close you travel to the edge of the abyss...you are still better than you deserve.
Many people have asked me how things have been going...especially because I have mentioned that I want my 50th year to be special...I need to be losing about a gazillion pounds...and because life in banking since 2008 has been fraught with uncertainty. Yes, I have made the commitment to be more intentional about life this year. Yes, I realize that life is not a Lifetime movie with all of the strings neatly tied up in two hours. No, I am not out of my mind. But my response to people these days has been...
Because it is. Whether or not I like it, think I'd prefer something different, or wish certain aspects could last forever or be over quickly. Life is moving on...and as it stands right now...I'm moving along with it. Feel free to interpret that however suits you. Because no matter how things are going...they are...well...GOING. Time marches on, the show must go on, ready or not here it comes...and all of that.
I've truly been trying to be intentional...and I've been far successful with that than I have my eating plan or just about anything else. I started off the weekend after my birthday with a bang...including hearing Tim Tebow speak at a function that a local organization brought him in to raise money for...one of three events of this kind that he is doing this year. He came to Montgomery, Alabama on March 16th...I got tickets...and I was not disappointed. The food was good, we had a nice time, and I loved hanging on his every word. Of course, back in steerage where I was (because as much as I love Tim Tebow...I couldn't pay $450 to actually meet him)...some Mensa candidate had messed up the sound system. The interviewer, a local sports guy was in and out...but mercifully...I could hear what Tim said. He inspired the crowd to "finish strong" and he was just as incredible off the field as he is on it. Yes, I've followed Tim since he was a freshman at Florida although I am not a Gators fan. But I have always been a Tim Tebow fan. Ironically, a few days after he spoke here, he was traded to the New York Jets.
Now I'm a Jets fan because as long as Tim Tebow is there...I'm watching. I will not watch the Denver Broncos as long as John Elway is in any way associated with that organization. Bless Peyton Manning's heart...he should have just retired while he was ahead...or picked somewhere else to go. I am no longer a fan of his either.
The following day (Saturday, March 17th)...in spite of forgetting to wear green...I did something I haven't done in awhile...just because I wanted to. I went through the Dalraida area of town and just looked at the beautiful azaleas and dogwood trees blooming. In established neighborhoods, these seem to be a mainstay...and in the red clay of Dalraida (as opposed to the prairie soil of Pike Road)...they seem to just be on visual overdrive. I rode down to the first house we owned in Deerfield and saw our old house. Someone has a swingset in the backyard and let some of the bushes we planted die. Funny...I can still walk through that house in my mind. It was the home we brought our babies home to...and the first of the two we have built from the ground up. I just hope that whoever is living there now has covered up that gosh awful Waverly wallpaper that I just had to put in the foyer. It is only gosh awful now, mind you. At that time, I thought it was amazing. But then again, I have never been accused of being a decorating genius either.
That was pretty much the biggest understatement EVER, by the way.
The following day, I went to church...as I am blessed to be able to do...and I ran into my friend, Bonnie, who had extra tickets to the Michael W. Smith concert on March 18th. Despite having all kinds of company and people coming and going...I went. Usually I miss things like this, but I was determined to go...and I'm very glad that I did. What a blessing! In case you don't know who Michael W. Smith is...if you've been in church - especially contemporary worship - you have heard his music. He's an amazing artist.
But then came the normal work week. And like a vapor...all of that intentionality started to seep away. Started - mind you - but it was not a totally successful evacuation.
This week I have photographed the horses that are so beautiful in a pasture by my house. Every morning for the past several years...I have vowed to stop and just take a picture. This week...I did. The photos aren't particularly good...and two of the mama horses were looking at me a little funny. But I stopped and took the photo. I'll take more later...but at least I've done it once.
I also cleaned my son's room top to bottom...and not because the Health Department came in here or for any other reason than I wanted him to come home from his beach trip to a clean room, clean clothes, and a clean start for his week. I also moved a picture from one part of his room to another...something I've been meaning to do for three years.
I've also written a couple of notes as people have crossed my heart, and have more than once just sat still and listened to something or let a thought run through my mind. I've felt the sunshine on my face, and noticed that my roses are starting to act like they want to bloom. I think that the irises all over the yard have made them envious.
Right now, if you ask me how I am I'd answer that it is a little rough because I'm a bit disappointed in someone, but that's part of what happens in life when people are involved. Because people aren't perfect...however much you may wish for them to be. It isn't one of those earthshattering "oh my gosh!" moments...just a quiet sadness that makes me wish that I understood the motivation.
But while that isn't perfect...the steak I had last night certainly was. As was spending the past three days with just Big Dave and the dogs. And so was the visit with my folks this afternoon. So there's that.
I don't know what the next week is going to bring...but I am hoping that it is as wonderful as I want it to be. But I'm paying attention to life...and hoping for the best to come my way.
I'll keep you posted on that. Thanks for reading.