Tuesday, October 6, 2015

     

     So what are you ready for? If you are the parent of a toddler, you are probably ready for a nap. If you are a parent of a teen-ager, you are certainly ready for a vacation. If you are a cat, you are ready for a good mouse. If you are a deer, you are ready to eat Fifi’s flowers. If you are a thrill seeker like Fifi, you are ready to shake things up and do something outrageous. This begs the question:  What is outrageous?

     “Outrageous” after a month of rain and a week stranded in the house might be a trip to the grocery store. Au contraire, I am always ready for a challenge, a new project, a new friendship, a trip to somewhere where I can meet people who live differently than me, a new stage with a warm audience. How about you? What are you ready for?

     I have a friend who is facing a family crisis. Are we ever ready for those? I have another friend who is battling cancer. Who can ever be ready for that? I have another friend who just got hired to show her art work in Europe. I’m sure she’s ready for that. Opportunities aren’t always like hurricanes. You don’t get an invitation from Joachim three or four days ahead to deal with tragedy or make a life-altering decision. But I get “ready.” Some people just wait to be “ready.” The people who didn’t take risks, didn’t see the poster with “carpe diem” on it as a motivator, who procrastinated, who said, “We should’ve, if I had only known, why didn’t I?” These are the ones who may have been “ready” and didn’t realize it. 


     I believe that the reason my parents traveled to exotic places in the 50s and 60s when they should have been home watching what the hell I was up to was because they had lived through World War II. They had watched their own parents suffer from the Depression. “Ready” was a given; they just did whatever they wanted because they knew how fast time flies and how fragile life can be. My father always pushed me to take risks, to push through my discomfort and face my demons early on. I followed his advice and passed it on to my children. Each of them has interpreted that philosophy in her own way, but they are always “ready,” and to me, their lives and mine are richer as a result.