“The life you want begins by embracing the life you have.”
We live in a complicated world these days. Some of us seem to feel that coping is so difficult that they almost give up. Think we all would do well to simplify our lives and concentrate on our basic needs and our happiness. I have decided that enjoying the time I have left with mywife, family and so many of you is what I value most. I can’t cure the ills of the world but I can adapt and appreciate what I have.
The following story reminded me that we each get to decide if we want to hug our lives or flounder in the chaos around us.
It was time to break free. I needed to run away and this seasonal change here in Pennsylvania, offered the best place to go. It’s time for the Bloomsburg Fair.
I don’t know if you can call it running away since it is only an hour away from my home. But once I cross through ‘Gate 5’ and enter the fair grounds, I cross over into another world. The loudspeaker offers background music barely audible over the sounds of people talking, carnival game hucksters and food venders vying for your attention.
I belong here. I don’t know if I have it in my blood or not, but I always wanted to have a small food stand and travel in my off season from fair to fair selling goodies. Perhaps one day. It certainly isn’t a priority in my life. Perhaps it should be. After I’m there awhile, I need to get away to a quiet spot on the fair grounds. Most of the time I can find that any where the farm animals are kept.
They need the quiet. Milk production goes down in the dairy barns I am told if there is too much ruckus. So I go there to find peace with the cows, goats, horses, pigs and yes, the turkeys. You’d think being this close to ‘Thanksgiving’ they’d be a little on edge, but they are not.
It was in the dairy barn where I found my oasis this time. I so admire the young folks who tend to farm animals. I think they have a greater appreciation for life. They participate in it firsthand. I’ve watched a young boy help bring a calf into the world and I have seen a young girl walk her prize cow through the line of animals for sale, knowing that her job is done and it’s time for it to leave home. It must be difficult.
My favourite scene is to come across a young person lying in the hay asleep among the cows that have settled down for a rest. There, with their heads nestled in a small soft spot along side their favorite cow, I have seen them in a much deserved sleep. Perhaps better at rest there than in their own bed. I had the pleasure of speaking with a young teenage farm girl at rest today.
‘You look so comfortable,’ I said to her.
‘Oh I am,’ she said. ‘Life makes it comfortable for me.’
‘You mean being a farm girl?’
‘No, Life! That’s the name of my cow,’ she said smiling as she stroked the cows side.
‘I thought they called cows Betsy and Elsie. Why did you call her Life?’
‘I discovered life again here. It was the only sensible name that came to mind,’ she said.
‘I had been raised in the big city and really hated it. Then we moved to the country. Kinda running away from it all. I think my parents called it a mid-life crisis,’ she said laughing.
‘Boy, I can relate to that. I’ve been in one since birth,’ I said.
‘It was on the farm that I learned to love life again. I was there when Life was born. It was so exciting. My whole outlook on the world changed. So I named her Life. Now, I can say I really love Life,’ she said.
‘How incredible. You know I write stories and I am always trying to get people to embrace life. To wake up each day expecting the best from it. But they all too often go to bed with so much bad stuff in their soul, and on their mind, that they wake up miserable and expect it to only get worse from there. All too often it does, just because that’s all they choose to see in that otherwise perfectly beautiful day,’ I told her.
‘That’s too bad. They need to see a cow born, a chicken hatch. I guess they need to wake up early and hug life!’ she said laughing.
‘When was the last time you hugged Life?’ she asked me.
‘I am sorry to say even I have had trouble doing that lately,’ I said.
‘Come here!’ she said.
Then standing up and stepping aside she said, ‘Go ahead… hug Life!’
I paused for a moment and dropping all thoughts of looking silly, I did. I hugged a cow.
Written by Bob Perks
“Every time you are tempted to react in the same old way, ask if you want to be a prisoner of the past or a pioneer of the future.”
A Western Buddhist woman was in India, studying with her teacher. She was riding with another woman friend in a rickshaw-like carriage, when they were attacked by a man on the street. In the end, the attacker only succeeded in frightening the women, but the Buddhist woman was quite upset by the event and told her teacher so. She asked him what she should have done – what would have been the appropriate, Buddhist response.
The teacher said very simply, “You should have very mindfully and with great compassion whacked the attacker over the head with your umbrella.”
Stress is when you wake up screaming and then you realize you haven’t fallen asleep yet.
Dear Diary… For my birthday present this year, Phil (the dear) purchased a week of personal training at the local health club for me. Although I am still in great shape since playing on my high school softball team (let’s say over 30 years ago and leave it at that), I decided it would be a good idea to go ahead and give it a try.
I called the club and made my reservations with a personal trainer I’ll call Bruce, who identified himself as a 26 year old aerobics instructor and model for athletic clothing and swim wear. Phil seemed pleased with my enthusiasm to get started. The club encouraged me to keep a diary to chart my progress.
Started my day at 6:00am. Tough to get out of bed, but found it was well worth it when I arrived at the health club to find Bruce waiting for me. He is something of a Greek God – with blond hair, dancing eyes and a dazzling white smile. Woo Hoo!!
Bruce gave me a tour and showed me the machines. He took my pulse after five minutes on the treadmill. He was alarmed that my pulse was so fast, but I attribute it to standing next to him in his Lycra aerobic outfit. I enjoyed watching the skillful way in which he conducted his aerobics class after my workout today. Very inspiring. Bruce was encouraging as I did my sit-ups, although my gut was already aching from holding it in the whole time he was around. This is going to be a FANTASTIC week!
I drank a whole pot of coffee, but I finally made it out the door. Bruce made me lie on my back and push a heavy iron bar into the air –then he put weights on it! My legs were a little wobbly on the treadmill, but I made the full mile. Bruce’s rewarding smile made it all worthwhile. I feel GREAT!! It’s a whole new life for me.
The only way I can brush my teeth is by laying on the toothbrush on the counter and moving my mouth back and forth over it. I believe I have a hernia in both pectorals. Driving was OK as long as I didn’t try to steer or stop. I parked on top of a GEO in the club parking lot. Bruce was impatient with me, insisting that my screams bothered other club members. His voice is a little too perky for early in the morning and when he scolds, he gets this nasally whine that is VERY annoying. My chest hurt when I got on the treadmill, so Bruce put me on the stair monster. Why the hell would anyone invent a machine to simulate an activity rendered obsolete by elevators? Bruce told me it would help me get in shape and enjoy life. He said some other crap too.
Bruce was waiting for me with his vampire-like teeth exposed as his thin, cruel lips were pulled back in a full snarl. I couldn’t help being a half an hour late, it took me that long to tie my shoes. Bruce took me to work out with dumbbells. When he was not looking, I ran and hid in the men’s room. He sent Lars to find me, then, as punishment, put me on the rowing machine — which I sank.
I hate that bastard Bruce more than any human being has ever hated any other human being in the history of the world. Stupid, skinny, anemic little cheerleader. If there was a part of my body I could move without unbearable pain, I would beat him with it. Bruce wanted me to work on my triceps. I don’t have any triceps! And if you don’t want dents in the floor, don’t hand me the *@*#$ barbells or anything that weighs more than a sandwich. (Which I am sure you learned in the sadist school you attended and graduated magna cum laude from.)
The treadmill flung me off and I landed on a health and nutrition teacher. Why couldn’t it have been someone softer, like the drama coach or the choir director?
Bruce left a message on my answering machine in his grating, shrilly voice wondering why I did not show up today. Just hearing him made me want to smash the machine with my planner. However, I lacked the strength to even use the TV remote and ended up catching eleven straight hours of the *$@# Weather Channel.
I’m having the Church van pick me up for services today so I can go and thank GOD that this week is over. I will also pray that next year Phil (the Beast) will choose a gift for me that is fun — like a root canal or a hysterectomy.
Getting people to like you is the other side of liking them.
Norman Vincent Peale
For thirty years, Johnson had arrived at work at 9 A.M., on the dot. He had never missed a day and was never late. Consequently, when on one particular day 9 A.M. passed without Johnson’s arrival, it caused a sensation. All work ceased and the boss himself, looking at his watch and muttering, came out into the corridor. Finally, precisely at ten, Johnson showed up, clothes dusty and torn, his face scratched and bruised, his glasses bent.
He limped painfully to the time clock, punched in, and said, aware that all eyes were upon him, “I tripped and rolled down two flights of stairs in the subway. Nearly killed myself.”
The boss said, “And to roll down two flights of stairs took you an entire hour?”
May you have enough happiness to make you sweet, enough trials to make you strong, enough sorrow to keep you human, enough hope to make you happy.
A friend and I were lunching at a sidewalk cafe in Huntington Beach, CA. Our waitress looked like a real surfer girl: athletic with a great tan and blond hair. Mulling over the menu, my friend asked her if the roast beef was rare.
The waitress gave us a long blank look, and then replied, “Well, no. We have it, like, just about every day.”
“I saw a woman wearing a sweatshirt with ‘Guess’ on it. I said, ‘Thyroid problem?'”
A little boy took his dog on a “take your pet to school” day. There were prizes for the smallest, the prettiest, the cutest, and the smartest pet. Determined that his dog win a prize, the boy put his pet through a whole series of tricks.
Finally the boy turned to the dog and asked, “Mindy, how much is two plus two minus four?”
The dog sat quietly, making no sound, remaining still and silent.
“Right!” exclaimed the boy.
His dog won first prize.
“It’s not complicated to embrace life. You just have to make the choice.”
Management is not responsible for duplicates from previous dailies. The editor is somewhat senile.
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