Friday, January 29, 2010

Finding the funny in the serious side of life

Make the most of yourself, for that is all there is of you. Ralph Waldo Emerson
My youngest daughter Liseanne, is in London. Having a jolly good time. Enjoying the sights and sounds and atmosphere of the city and its surroundings.

Now, let's be clear, Liseanne is a free spirit. Lithe and energetic, she catapults into the day like a deer leaping through the forest. She's been keeping a blog of her travels thus far, (the name says it all -- One girl. One backpack. Too many shoes) and it is priceless. Though I do despair about her lack of punctuation. Liseanne doesn't believe in commas. Highly over-rated she says. Let people take a breath where they want, not where I say.

Hmmmm..... Not sure about the logic but it does make for an entertaining read!

Unlike her sister, Alexis, and me, Liseanne does not take herself too seriously. She's bright and intelligent, but life, in Liseanne's world, is best lived with ample doses of humour and laughter, always looking for the funny-side of where you're at and who you are being -- like, who are you trying to kid? Really? As Emmerson suggests, You're you. Make the most of it and don't go looking for darkness when it's so much healthier to stand in the light.

It is one of the many things I admire about her. She is able, even when in London with only two pairs of sandals in January, to find the humour in her situation.

I should mention, back here, on the homefront, the front hall closet is filled to over-flowing with Liseanne's shoes. Red. Blue. Black. Pink. Purple. Orange. She's got a shoe in every colour. Every style. Every contorted heel. So I guess the title of her blog actually refers to the shoes she doesn't have with her on this journey because, over there, across the pond. She's got a pair of Uggs and two pair of sandals. Sandals! I exclaim. Why would you only take sandals in January? What were you thinking. About sunshine and warm Spanish beaches. About going barefoot in the rain and dancing in Tivoli fountain. Don't need shoes for those. Only need a spirit of adventure and twinkly toes looking to dance.

I sigh.

She really is an amazing and wondrous child of God. Dancing her way through life. She's got the important things figured out. The rest, as she says, is just stuff.

Now, as her mother, there's that little voice in my head that whispers. "You should have been paying more attention to her packing. You should have made her a list and ensured she had the essentials. You should have.... You know, the voice that wants to take it all way too seriously and figure out escape plans and emergency hatches to ensure she never gets stuck in someplace I haven't dreamed of. To make it all better, to fix it, change it, prevent it and circumvent it before disaster ever happens..."


The best education is experience. Bet she thinks twice before she packs next time!

Reality is, I trust her to make the right decisions for herself. That's part of my commitment to being a loving parent.

Whether shoes or University courses, or who to date, or not to date, or how to dress for the weather, I trust her to be responsible for her own happiness. And she is. Fact is, she creates happiness where ever she goes because she's never burdened down with carrying bitterness or resentment, sorrow or guilt or any host of negative emotions designed to keep us living in the troughs of regret rather than dancing on the waters of life over-flowing with abundance.

The fact she's only got two pair of shoes isn't a big deal. She's got the important ingredients on this trip. Her passport. Her logistics to attend university in Holland. Her housing (paid for in full for the next six months). Her sheets (washed before she left). Her weekend trips to here and there planned. Contact lists for the cousins in Paris and other French locales. A guide book and a superb thinking mind, a warm and loving heart and an ingredient that will get her through every kind of storm -- her sense of humour.

Humour counts. In every kind of weather. In every kind of situation. In every tight spot, wide spot, deep ditch or mountain trail.

Keeping your sense of humour, your ability to 'not take yourself so seriously', keeps you from falling down into the pits of despair and lashing out at yourself and the world around you. Which means, your world will stay intact, even when the sky appears to be falling.

I admire Liseanne. Only two pair of shoes in London town, and she's having a great time!

Not to mention, she also gets to go out and buy a pair or two. Any excuse for a shopping fix, even in one of the most expensive cities in the world!

So, the question for today is: Where are you taking yourself too seriously to see, you really are a funny creature? A human being of immense possibilities all tied up into this funny construct called life. Are you standing on the edge of reason, clinging to fear in the hope it will hold you down? or. Are you casting forth a lifeline out into the universe, hooking yourself onto a star and sailing forth into living this one wild and passionate life in the rapture of now, finding the 'funny' in the serious side of life?


Maureen said...

She'll do fine, with or without commas.

I think only my sister might rival the number of shoes (I don't come close). And cobblestones can be a bit tough on sandals.

How exciting to do what she's doing!

M.L. Gallagher said...

How exciting indeed Maureen -- I'm hoping to get over there before August to visit with her. My sister, Jackie will be there in May -- she will do fine -- she is supported in Love no matter what she's doing! :)


Joyce Wycoff said...

Louise ... what a lovely light this post is. Don't I wish I could ride along inside her for awhile, even with her chilly toes and no commas.