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I want to ask people: what do you need that you can have right now?
As we all know, so many moments of our lives are taken up by what we need. In civilized society, it is quite a drill, and a relentless drill at that: we need a decent education, we need a good job, we need a life partner, we need the perfect wedding, we need to have a baby, (or a good baby sitter,) we need loving friends, we need good health, money, success, prestige, good entertainment, a deluxe vacation, and sometimes more than those.
But in my life, and possibly in yours, sometimes there are little things that are right off center stage and overlooked. I suggest we try to search a bit for them so they can become fulfilling. Even if those little things are not anywhere on the list. Then open your heart to letting them in.
One of my happiest childhood memories is from a weekend when my folks visited our Chicago neighbors. This family owned not only the nicest house in our neighborhood, but a lakeside cottage just shy of the Wisconsin border.
Everything was going along as it always did – us kids had trooped down to the lake on Saturday morning and goofed off. Then we swam for a bit.
Finally we trudged back to the cottage, all sandy and wet. We soon shared a large communal breakfast, just the seven kids and four adults. Then all 11 of us went back to the lake, where we indulged in sun bathing and more swimming. Around 3 p.m., everyone once again sought refuge in the cottage. The adults jimmied up some drinks, while we kids looked for something new to do outside.
One of us discovered a piece of rope, just the right length to make games of double dutch and plain old jump rope quite a lot of fun. The gravel driveway under the huge elm trees was the perfect shady spot.
What happened next is why it became a forever memory. Our whoops of joy attracted the grown-ups, who might have been a wee bit bored of playing pinochle the fourth Saturday in a row. All of them came down the cottage stairs, and took up places in line. Their faces gleamed with anticipation of taking their turns at jumping rope.
If you have never witnessed four “thirty somethings,” slightly stewed by sun and beer, attempting to learn double dutch, you have not lived. It is especially fine if those adults are your parents, who normally behave like pillars of respect offering sedate wisdom like: “No eating those gooey sandwiches on the new living room couch.”
So it was that our parents stumbled through the gauntlet of the turning rope. To say they were clumsy in their attempts at mastering the maneuvers would be an understatement. Some adults thought if we turned the rope more slowly they would shine at this art. None of them were proven right. As the rope slowed down, it made it more likely that it would stall and entangle the adult jumper.
No one could stop laughing. I don’t know how long we engaged in the activity, but everyone involved slept well that night.
I thought of that memory last night when trying hard to make sense of my life. There is a lot on my plate right now. My husband and I are trying to take our business to the next level. When things like this are going on, I miss my two closest friends who both died some time ago, both before their sixtieth birthdays. Having them to brainstorm with would be almost heavenly.
A close friend is mad at me over a minor matter, and I know it has to do with how her mom died recently. This friend was taught not to express emotions, so she will not grieve her loss. But she did find a way to express some emotion: she got mad at me.
Finding sleep impossible, I pleaded with the universe to offer me a moment of sheer relief and happiness. After all, at 1 a.m., it is unlikely I will come up with the perfect business plan for the new direction the company is heading. It is also not possible to talk things out with a friend at 1 a.m., even if I expect they might be as much of an insomniac as me.
But something told me to give up trying to sleep in bed. Instead I went out in the living room and squeezed onto the love seat that serves as my dog’s nightly domain. It was so cozy there: in no time, I found all my concerns and problems dropping away. And when I quit fidgeting over how small the love seat is, in terms of letting a 5’10” person fall asleep, I almost immediately found a perfect sleeping position. This position was fetal in nature and velvet to the touch. The added bonus was it was offering my dog’s warmth to shield me from the cold hitting us both when the fireplace embers died down.
I woke up, feeling loved and protected, and I noticed my back had finally gone back into place.
So where is your need that can be fulfilled right now? Is it in your snow-christened driveway, with some of the kids on a sled? Or is it tucked in the corner of your living room? Request the universe help you find your need’s fulfillment. Give it a moment and allow yourself to be a grown up waiting to take a turn at learning double dutch.
I hope it comes to you. (For anyone liking longer weekends, it is possible it already has.)
And remember to be thankful when this gift is received.Published in