Reflections on what is really important in this life

Think for Yourself


As some of you know, I have several health issues. The last few weeks have been especially hard for me. I am not admitting this to gain sympathy. I want you to understand why I might not wave while driving by. It is also why I may not be my normally cringe-worthy talkative self when I see you in person. I also want to relay an observation I made because of my situation.

I have had trouble breathing lately. I seem constantly out of breath or trying to catch my breath. Because of these troubles, I have been talking less than usual. I have learned that most of what I had been saying didn’t need to be said. I spoke less, and the world didn’t end. I wasn’t passing on as much information (gossip), and life went on without my commentary.

I wasn’t quick to pass on my opinions. When I did, I had thoroughly thought it out and decided it needed to be shared. I have never been shy about sharing my opinion, but I have realized that maybe I don’t have to share every opinion all the time. I think that is a good realization and perhaps a sign that I am finally reaching a significant level of maturity. For some reason, I expect that true maturity will always allude me.

Because of my health, I find myself questioning my choices and actions. I think about conversations I intend to have with my children long before I open my mouth. I want to express my thoughts without attacking those I love. I still fail badly at times, but I am trying.

When I write my articles for The Expositor, I try to be accurate and impartial, but I find myself trying to be positive as much as possible and urging for actions I feel are needed. I can read those feelings in my writing. I apologize if that offends anyone, but I don’t want to waste my energy or time being negative or discouraging.

I think about the young girl who sat down and talked to me at the city league basketball games because she saw me sitting alone. She was kind and respectful. She showed compassion when she didn’t have to. She now plays for the Warriorettes, and I guarantee that if I live to see it, I will watch her play college ball every chance I get. Those conversations meant more than every empty wave ever sent my way.

I recently interviewed a Sparta citizen who turns 100 in September. She is more alive and vibrant than I have been for years. I am awestruck by the things she has seen and done in her lifetime, but I don’t feel like my life has been less because of my fewer years. I have traveled, loved, and been loved back. If my life ended today, it would have been full. I hope I have years to live, but I know it isn’t likely.

I also realize that none of us know how much time we have, and we all feel worn down sometimes. I enjoy writing for The Expositor and attending local government meetings. I enjoy talking to the people I encounter through this work. I enjoy seeing my children with their families and friends. Sometimes I forget how blessed my life has been.

I sometimes find it difficult to talk about these things in person. As the songs say, it is effortless to say the words. It isn’t easy to honestly convey the feelings. Like Troy, I miss everyone waving, but I realize those waves were usually just empty gestures. I don’t mind empty gestures, but I think it’s OK if I don’t waste time on them. Think for yourself.


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