Posts Tagged ‘John Lennon quote’

When I was 5 years, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down ‘happy.’ They told me I didn’t understand the assignment, and I told them they didn’t understand life. (John Lennon)

 The young Beatle-to-be obviously didn’t have nuns as teachers. He would have been knocked down a step or two, or three, or four. With or without a cracking ruler.

If only happiness didn’t need to be pursued. I tell my grandchildren they are important often. Sure, action and discipline remain necessary. The-world-owes-me makes a sad goal. However, a happy-to-be-alive everyday life isn’t easy to achieve.

“You need to live to be 138,” one grandchild told me recently. “I’m going to need you that long.”

Sweet. Yes. And yet a potent message. A need to be assured remains powerful.

The little things. Always the little things. How well or poorly are they set together?



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hospital bed in intense color with parking lot below

Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans. (John Lennon)

Spaghetti with homemade sauce, salad, a special bread, and tapioca for dinner. The pudding is the kind that sticks to the bottom of the pan, not the pre-packaged stuff that requires no more than the opening of a plastic lid. I wanted to make something special for my husband. A just because.

My timing could have been better.

“I’m feeling a little queasy,” he says after eating a much smaller quantity than usual.

Somehow queasy is understated. By the next day he is dehydrated enough to pass out at the emergency room entrance. As his inadequate support I go down with him.

The crisis ends. One healed moment at a time.

And I sit at the computer knowing life is not mine to control. I can give. I can look a homeless person in the face and offer food or money, listen to a friend when I would rather open a book or take a nap. Act or React.

Perhaps all I can do sometimes is have a vague outline for the week and an open heart.

Right now, I have plans to learn to be more flexible, “with a little help from my friends.”

Thanks to all my friends who gave more than a little help.

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Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans. (John Lennon)

Today. Finally. I’ll get a few errands completed. Even though old man winter is mocking the bright blue sky by plunging the temperature below ten degrees. My key opens the lock on the door of my 1997 Toyota on the second try.

The ignition responds. Unfortunately, the door doesn’t close—not because the seat belt is in the way. I pull the door shut and try to hold it sufficiently tight to lock, with the false hope that it will stay there. Oh, sure, the lock catches, but the door is not properly positioned—and I can’t get it unlocked again.

Great! I. Am. Stuck. Inside. This. Car. And Jay is at the auto repair shop now getting an oil change for his car. Naturally, my purse and phone are in the house. I am simply warming little green for a minute or two. My old car has decided it doesn’t want to go anywhere.

Now, if I can get the window to open… I press the buttons. The windows lower only on the passenger side. That means I get to climb over the gear shift, pray I don’t drop the keys out the window, and open the door from that side.

Hallelujah! I’m sprung. Little green Toyota remains iced, but at least I can call to see if Jay is still at our friend’s repair shop. Our friend suggests Jay make a simple repair with a spray; it does not work. Jay and I both drive back to the shop—not in our neighborhood. He follows, as my car-dian angel.

The warm drive allows the door to relax and behave as if nothing had ever been wrong with it. Ack! Ack! Triple ack. At least my-car-that-could-be-almost-classic-if-it-didn’t-resemble-a-demolition-derby-look-alike gets an oil change. And I learn to cover my key with the point of a pencil (graphite.) Graphite in the form of a pencil point or graphite spray helps to loosen the lock.

Of course, this cure only helps in models old enough to earn rust stains. My vehicle fits in that category. Little green is not old enough to remember carburetors, however.

My errands will wait for tomorrow. Maybe. Fate, the weather, Armageddon? Whatever tomorrow brings, I’m grateful not to be a four-foot eleven-inch ice cube.



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Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans. (John Lennon)

We are going on vacation tomorrow morning. The living room has turned into an obstacle course of clothing and maybe-we’ll-bring-stuff. Our passports are next to the remote control. When each to-do item on our list is completed, another is added.

I open the refrigerator to get the last of the fruit. “Uh, sweetheart, why is the light out in the refrigerator?”

I don’t expect my mate to know. It’s a question I don’t want to ask me. The appliance is relatively new. Jay checks the circuit breakers. They are intact. Neither the toaster nor a lamp responds at that outlet. It is as dead as a pond fossil. The extension cord we use for outdoor Christmas lights connects the refrigerator to electrical life. However, it also creates a trip hazard.

This bandaged solution could help for a week. Maybe. I call my brother Paul, an electrical engineer. He answers the phone.

“That should be an easy fix,” he says. “A fifteen minute job. I have the tools.” He offers to stop by today.

I am grateful because I am the facilitator for a writing group that meets this morning and I don’t want to renege my responsibilities. Jay will be home to welcome our hero.

However, when I return after the meeting I learn that the easy task wasn’t as simple as my brother expected. Our second switch was poorly wired. It was the feeder and was destined to blow. He handles the repair.

Paul is a lifesaver, a frozen-food rescuer, a brilliant engineer, and an all-around good guy. Of course he wouldn’t accept pay for his services—not even a free meal at a restaurant. And I wasn’t thinking White Castle.

All I can do is pass on his kindness to someone else and shout out to the world, or at least my readers, that I have a brother who is the greatest.

We are now on vacation and will be home, or close to home, by the time this is posted. Not every moment here has come as we thought it would either. We got lost but found some incredible beauty. We had some unexpected rain and I finished some edits I was afraid would never get completed in time. Serendipity is both teacher and delight.

Peace upon all that comes your way, both expected and otherwise.

 enjoying scenery on a detour

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Life is what happens to you while you are busy making other plans. (John Lennon)

Canceling our vacation plans seemed so strange I didn’t unpack for at least twenty-four hours. We expected to travel to the west coast. However, a family emergency demanded that we stay here, one of those no-brainer situations. Anyone who can spell the word emergency—and many who can’t—understand how that happens. It’s called reality. Insert any situation here. Little imagination required. Our emergency looks like it will be resolved, possibly even erased. Don’t know. That answer is left to the unknown future.

After the shock lifted, time appeared, hours of it. Sure I expected to make friends with a sequoia. That may happen eventually. Instead I tackled a manuscript that had felt like stirring congealed concrete. I finished a major edit.

Next I faced a physical issue I’ve been avoiding. I love parks and the outdoors. A three-to-five mile walk in a nature preserve equals love. I can think like a poet, examine the lines of trees, and follow the flight of a bird from a branch into the clouds. Within the past few months that experience has meant a big pain in the knees. Arthritis? Probably. That Art-form has visited many, many folk. And he doesn’t leave after a casual hint or two. He fights until bone rubs against bone. I have one finger in that condition. The rest of my body isn’t that far gone. It isn’t ready to plod through mountains, hills, and glens either. That doesn’t mean I’m giving up, however. Mr. Arthritis absorbs the couch potato.

My doctor referred me to a specialist. This ten-day space, the time to think, led me to accept vulnerability. I decided to live in the as-it-is present. Of course visions of the past show up as I recognize my awkward, uneven, old-lady gait. I recall my mother as she grasped the handrail and ascended the stairs one at a time.

She didn’t complain about how much each step hurt. Now, I appreciate the difficulty of those movements. She had knee replacements during earlier days of the surgery. She didn’t waste time complaining about her lot in life. Not much point to it. I pray that I can follow her example.

In the meantime beauty exists everywhere: in a sunburst, laughter, a recent uplifting conversation with my brother, Bill, and sister-in-law, Lisa. It appears in words and songs, in encouragement, and in the gift of simply being.

Jay and I will probably make plans for another vacation—some other time. Chances are we’ll actually make it through security and all the way to our destination. I create chaos without at least a little structure. But, for now, my husband and I have been repeating John Lennon’s words frequently. Yep, life is happening all around us, and I feel blessed to be in the midst of it.

enjoying scenery on a detour

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