Friday, April 11, 2014

Marcie And Life

I don't hang around Facebook very much...mostly just to spy on my offspring...but I recently read the post of a dear friend, whose name is not Marcie but that's what I'll call her.  It said, "I love my life.  I hope you love yours..."  I was just about to post a glib response, like "Yeah, I'd love your life too" or maybe "Wanna' switch?"  But I did not.  I did not because I paused and thought about what she said.  I thought about it slowly..."I love my life."  Marcie did not say, "I love life."  We all - well most of us - love life itself, especially considering the alternative.  No.  Marcie wrote that she loves her life.  As I thought about it - and continued to think about it for days - the profoundness of that brief comment settled somewhere very deep.

It lingered.  The thought hovered over my head like one of those dialog balloons and intrigued me so much that I began to ask members of my "team" at work whether he or she loved their life.  Not life, but their life.  "Why...are you dying?" was the first response of a Mr. Smarty-Pants who is in the midst of a divorce, and who then responded, "No, I hate my life right now because I either have to sleep on a friend's couch or live in my car."  Another said he loved his life on the weekends but only if there was beer in the fridge.  Obviously, I was not going to get anything close to meaningful responses from this crowd so I dropped the query and they all seemed very much relieved.  The subject of the conversation changed to something a little more comfortable - I think it was basketball.  Nevertheless, the obvious question - the one I avoided asking was:  Do I love mine?  It's something to think about, isn't it.

I'm not trying to sound all Existentialisty, which, of course I couldn't do if I tried since I remember very little about it from my college philosophy class other than that it made my head hurt.  I do recall something about first existence and then experience...or was it the other way around?  Or was it essence and not experience?  Or none of the above?  In any event, "I love my life" demonstrates a philosophical attitude that is easy to understand if you know the person who holds it.

If you asked her, I do not believe Marcie would ever say her life has been perfect but it is different from the lives many of us live in one important respect:  Marcie really concentrates on doing good.   That is how she lives her life but I'm not sure she goes about it with that intent upper most in her mind.  I think "doing good" might just come naturally to her - like some people can play the piano without taking lessons.  So does looking at the glass half-full.  She reminds me of the phrase, "Getting what you want is not the same as wanting what you have."  And looking back over the years I've known her, I can honestly say that even when things in her life were less than sunny, Marcie has been able to maintain an aura of happiness about her - I guess you could say she possesses that rarest of qualities:  "a touch of grace."  It is fun to be around her and when you part you really do feel better about life - in general and your own.

So, yes, I can see how she is able to say "I love my life."  It's a mighty fine one..mighty fine.


9 comments:

  1. Great essay, Grad. It behooves us all "behooves" is an awful word, but you know what I mean) to ask ourselves from time to time whether we love our lives. I don't know that I do good so very much, but I certainly love my life for many reasons--and I'm thankful for that. Thank YOU for making me think about the issue.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Tinky, sometimes I love my life and sometimes I think it sucks. But I do love being alive. And, like you, I'm not so sure how much good I do, but I try not to do harm. Does that count?

      Delete
  2. (I love the word "behooves".)

    I read a book recently that described happiness as a "visitation", rather than a constant state of being. I thought that was such a wonderful way of putting it, and so so so true of me -- there will just be moments where I feel visited by total contentment. And I try to remember to be open to that, and to give myself space for it. Even a brief visitation of happiness like that can be a big jolt to remind me that my life is good and I feel lucky to live in it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jenny, I concur. I don't believe anyone can be happy all the time. I guess the gift is to recognize that and embrace it, knowing that happiness is just around the corner.

      Delete
  3. Marcie sounds like a wonderful person. It is no surprise you coworkers were reluctant to discuss the topic with you, most people don't want to talk about stuff like that. I love my life. Is it perfect? No. Is it what I thought it would be when I was a kid? No. But I love it anyway.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Stef, my co-workers LOVE talking about stuff like that - as long as it remains un-serious. No emotional dumping usually; but, life filters into our day to day work lives under some pretty awful circumstances. So I guess we engage in gallows humor. I'm still trying to figure out whether I love my life or not. (I'd love it more if I could lose 10 lbs.)

      Delete
  4. I do love my life but it's often pretty difficult. Take parenting for example. My sister was just asking me if I'm excited about our new baby. Not excited. Anxious, tired, overwhelmed. And profoundly grateful. For small pleasures like blogging friends too :-)

    ReplyDelete
  5. Pete, yes. Parenting is awesome in many ways - and perhaps the most frightening and anxiety producing thing we will ever do. It is also the most difficult, if done correctly. I am so happy to hear of your new arrival!! Hope the family is happy and well.

    ReplyDelete