By Florence Ondré
A friend sent this to me for New Year’s:
“Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the
intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well
preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways,
chocolate in one hand, champagne in the other, body
thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming
“WOO HOO what a ride!”
Upon reading this, I felt joyful. The smile spread across my face like a flash flood of happy.
“Yeah! That’s it!” I thought, “Let me slide into home plate out of breath from exhileration.”
I wanted to immediately share these words with all my friends; make it a New Year’s Day first e-mail.
I got the gist of the little piece; felt the uplifting spirit of jumping into life with arms outstretched; the joi de vivre of way-to-go woo hoo!
Then I thought of my own philosophy and state of health of myself and others, which has been fragile and consuming of care.
Several of our nearest and dearest have endured numerous, serious health challenges. My love and I don’t drink alcohol. He keeps chocolate to a minimum because it plays not so funny games with his heartrate and, since experiencing a couple of accidents, both of us have had to focus on tending the earthsuit repair and maintenance far more than we’d like, with actual journeying out into the world being curtailed.
‘Hmmm. Wait a min,’ I thought. ‘I don’t want to advocate throwing self care all to hell. I can hear all my vegetarian, sober, wholistic health buddies round the planet who do amazing work in body, mind and spirit, bristle and yet I get the gist of the little piece totally in the energy field without leaving the chair in front of my computer.
This paragraph isn’t saying: ‘Chuck it all and get drunk and clog your arteries with the cacao sugar and fat.’ That line is a metaphor for dare to risk enjoying life while you’re here on Earth!
Don’t fret about every line on your face and be totally consumed with what you look like. (The word ‘totally’ being the look-at-me word here. Please do drag a comb through your hair occasionally and take a bath or shower…I insist.)
I don’t care much anymore if you color co-ordinate or have make-up on and hair styles have gotten really fantastik in the creativity department. So what the heck do I know looks any better than the purple, green and screaming yellow, foot high spikes coming up out of your head like plastered points. I admire the free spiritedness. I find the free-to-be-ness fabulously enjoyable.
I’m simply saying, maybe it’s time to give the nip and tuck docs and your already beautiful Earthsuit a rest so you can have more time to enjoy life while you’re here.
Get dirty on the trails of Mother Nature. Allow the wind to wreak whatever havoc it can with your tresses. Leave off worries about your eyeliner running while you poke your head into the wildness of a waterfall’s mist and roar. Let your self go all to your old standards wrack and ruin by not holding back laughter and smiles which might keep your face from looking continuously 20.
I’m not knocking science which can greatly benefit those who need. I’m basically saying most of us look OK and asking, tic-tic-tic folks, how do you really want to spend those fleeting minutes on this fabulous planet?
You probably don’t need another ‘make-over. This is coming from a former skinny model who wouldn’t leave the house if a hair was out of place and is now pleasantly plump and happily hairspray free. So, you can take that to the bank. We all look pretty good; hype and commercialism to the contrary.
I remember one time when I was recovering from a fractured sternum which was so painful that I couldn’t wear a bra. A city chic girlfriend of mine, whom I hadn’t seen in a while, came to spend the day with me at my beach side home and upon seeing me in my comfy oversized sweats remarked, “That’s not a good look for you, dear.”
Another standout teaching moment in this category was when I was able to get together with friends after a long and arduous recovery from debilitating spine injury and one just couldn’t keep from sharing her thoughts upon seeing me at long last, “You need a haircut. You look like Hell.”
I felt the initial shock, sadness and sting of those comments and wondered, ‘Why aren’t they just happy I’m alive and able to show up? Why can’t they simply be glad for my company?’
And then my spirit kicked back with the humor of how funny it was that, in the face of near death and never seeing me walk in a room again, these two pals, who do care about me, were only worrying about what I looked like when I finally got there!
Actually the first friend announced to me that her intention in this life was to do anything it took to walk through those pearly gates looking good! Like there might be assigned sections in Heaven labeled “Beautiful People; svelte and unlined” and “The Rest Of You;” with the choicest celestial perks going only to those who didn’t get their Birthday suit smudged, stretched out or wrinkled.
Reading that little piece my friend sent me to start off the new year, gave me pause for thought and question. What would be in my hands as I slid home?
With my love of good food, fun and exploring the world in all it’s dimensions, I’m thinking I’ll have both lovely chocolate in one hand and the non alcohol, fruity bubblys I enjoy and crystal clear, ice cold water from the headwaters of mountain streams in the other; with the fragrance of world class Thai, French and Italian food clinging to me; my clothes dabbed with drippings from my friend, Owen’s mom’s incredible herb roast chicken and fried fruited kugle; my buddy, Kathy’s, ballabusta Beouf Bourgignon and my chum, Charlie’s cherished chicken soup and stuffed Turk’s Turban… and pockets overflowing with photos of all the friends and family fun, great meals shared…and with smiles and songs filling my heart!
What a fat album that will be in the Akashik Records!
Of course I’ll have had to fight through my own little fences of what is socially acceptable, wanting to fit in and being responsible, to get to the tasting of ripe fruit I thought beyond my reach. I’d have had to give up caring more about how I look like than what I feel.
Focus and perception.
And thankfully there are no rules or regulations. My journey is mine as yours is yours.
I’ve come to a place where I’m more interested in…did you show up; did you laugh; did you discover something new that made you wonder, sigh or giggle; did you notice something you’d never seen, heard or felt before; did you taste something new and relish what you liked; did you open your heart to give or receive; did you make mistakes, learn from them and discover comedy in your process; did you find peace, did you love and allow yourself to be loved; did you experience joy?
I want to know this about myself and I want to know this about you, my fellow traveler.
How do you want to arrive at the end of your Earth journey this time?
I’m waiting to hear your Woo Hoo!