No matter what happens in our life, we always return to what we know, what is in our bones. And family is in our bones.
“Peace is the beauty of life. It is sunshine. It is the smile of a child, the love of a mother, the joy of a father, the togetherness of a family. It is the advancement of man, the victory of a just cause, the triumph of truth.” – Menachem Begin
I have recently written a lot about family, and escaping, so to speak, all the responsibilities that I have inherited. Taking a break is, more than anything, about taking care of yourself. Everyone needs a break at some point, we all need downtime, rest, to unplug and get out minds off everything that is stressful.
But at the end of the day, we always return to what we know. And family is what we know.
And this weekend was very much centered around family, my nephew in particular. He has come up to Atlanta to go to college, and it adjusting to life and everything that is such a large area. But all work and no play is not good for anyone. So it was off to pick pumpkins at one of my favorite places: Burt’s Pumpkin Patch. At first it may seem a little corny but it is indeed quite an adventure.
First the is the 1+ drive of talking and listening to music. Then there is getting there and seeing every kind of pumpkin and gourd imageable. Until I went there, I had no idea there were so many, of so many different colors and sizes and shapes. And there are hundreds.
And then it was off to Merciers Bakery, where they have every kind of friend pie deliciousness imaginable. We had to stock up on them. Next was a burger and beer at a local tavern. I Truly do not know who had the best time of the two of us. It is magic to watch someone see and experience things for the first time. It is fun to see their eyes light up when they discover the fun of something they never knew existed.
No matter what is going on in life, family always seems to keep me grounded, reminding me of what is truly important. Family is the cornerstone of the foundation of life. And no matter how far I go in my travels and adventures, certainly family will never be so far away that they can not be found.
The Rex Factor
I remember a conversation I had with one of my best friends. As we talked about life, love and the pursuit of happiness as we often did, he mentioned to me that people handle life is a myriad of different ways. He and I are the kinds of people who cannot sit still when we are figuring things out. We must go, explore, be active. That does not mean that we are not grounded, quite the contrary, we very much are. We know from where our roots grow and are nourished. It just means that sitting at home being a hermit is not for us. At least not at this particular time.
And as I make my holidays plans I am reminded of our conversation and of our friendship. His name was Rex, and he was my mentor. He was my first boss in radio, and we just clicked upon first meeting each other. Never anything romantic, but fast friends and confidants. As he was my mentor, I was his confessor. He knew and understood me in a way that few have, and we would talk about random topics and theories of his into the wee hours of the night.
My friend passed away a few years ago and I miss him very much. I could use his wisdom and point of view on life right now, on how to navigate the chapter, on how to motivate, encourage and inspire others. On how to be a leader – he was one of the best leaders I have ever met.
And no doubt he would understand my reasoning for traveling during the holidays, my need to be free for a while, and the desire for breath. The need for fresh air in life and hopping on the back of a bike.
A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Country
As my nephew and I were driving to the mountains in search of the perfect pumpkin, I spotted my ex driving in the opposite direction with his latest Tinder floozy. And something very unexpected happened: Nothing. I felt nothing. No anger, no sadness, no resentment, no hurt or pain, just…nothing.
It is often thought that the opposite of love is hate, but I disagree. I think the opposite of love is total indifference. And finally, I am there. And that realization made me smile.
To be honest, I dreaded the first “sighting”, because I knew it would happen at some point. And then it did. And it was extremely anticlimactic – I just did not care.
In life there are some milestones that we celebrate, even ever so quietly. And when you realize that you have moved past a time or event or relationship that was very hurtful, it is one of those times. I am free from all which was holding me down and back from that situation.
And so I celebrate this small milestone. And I enjoy the life that is to come.