Hoarding or tossing the gravel in lifeLeftover "stuff" can play havoc with lives in more ways than one—and not all physical.
By: Monica Isley, Lake County News Chronicle
As I backed my scooter out of the garage, pushing with my feet, they kept slipping on the loose sand and gravel that had accumulated over the winter.
The words of a biker friend from Ohio immediately came to mind. "Be careful about the road surface in the spring," he said. "That loose gravel will send your bike sprawling faster than anything."
With that in mind, I watched the road carefully as I took off on my first ride of the season, turning corners and accelerating with care. In a car, I never would have noticed that gravel. I noticed it now.
Most of it is still there, and will be until the city crews have a chance to finish the street sweeping. They'll scoop up and dispose of all of winter's detritus, so helpful a few months ago, so unnecessary now.
Leftover "stuff" can play havoc with lives in more ways than one—and not all physical. I've never forgotten a little bit of wisdom I found in a book during Morning Prayer one day. It said that the ancient spiritual writers warned about "morning demons," those trials, troubles and grievances from the day before that could poison the new day.
Some people wake up with hurtful conversations still replaying in their mind; with slights from coworkers or family members still playing in their emotional theater.
Leave the old stuff behind and start afresh, the writers advised. It doesn't mean simply sweeping things under the rug. Some things deserve to be remembered, as a caution if nothing else. But they don't have to determine what kind of day we'll have today.
At the same time, I know people who anticipate their demons. A friend who recently applied for a new job, which gave him an employment possibility he hadn't had until then, was really down in the dumps when I talked with him.
"I might not get it," he said. "Then where will I apply?"
I told him to be happy for the opportunity, and let the results take care of itself when it happened. Or, if he's going to play what-if, tell himself that he could just as easily be the one who's hired.
Some people won't try new things because they might not work; they won't get excited about new plans because of anticipated roadblocks. They're the people who are glum on Saturday morning because they have only two days before they have to go to work again on Monday.
And believe it or not, I've actually heard someone grumbling about summer because "it's so short and winter will be here before we know it."
My oft-quoted favorite saying comes into play here: "Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, today is a gift. That's why it's called the present." Unpleasant things have happened in the past, and they will undoubtedly happen in the future. But so did happy things, and so they will again. I choose to focus on those.
"It's my choice whether I'm going to be happy or sad," I told a friend recently. "It all depends on what I choose to focus on."
So, I'm watchful of the loose gravel. But the ride is good nevertheless, and I know it will be smoother eventually. That's today's gift.