I recently reconnected with an old friend of mine from high school. Sandy was the most talented cartoonist I ever met. We have made plans to break bread and crack jokes. I’m definitely looking forward to catching up with her. However, in our emails she referred to me as “the crazy Sally Marks.”
In the past when I went to my high school
reunions, a few folks described me in a similar fashion - crazy. Some
stories I remember with embarrassment. Other tales I don’t remember at
all, but the essence of the plot seems like something I would’ve done. I
want to keep the blog g-rated, so I will not go into my misspent youth,
but I can tell you that as I retell these stories to my friends, we
double over in laughter.
So, I ask myself, what happened to
that crazy girl? Why am I sitting in front of my computer on New Year’s
Eve trying to come up with something to write on my blog instead of
painting the town?
For starters, if I write I won’t fall asleep
before midnight. I’m looking forward to 2015 and I want to usher it in
with a smile and a cheer. It hasn’t been an easy year for nearly
everyone I know. People have lost jobs and homes. Good friends of mine
lost their son. Another dear friend just lost her husband.
a new year awaits. As a Buddhist, I know (at least theoretically) that
all things are transient. We cannot count on external things to bring
us happiness. This includes money, power, lovers, children, success or
status. All of those things can disappear in an instant. And this
year, I, as well as others, experienced the loss of some of these
cherished things firsthand.
However, there is one thing I am
taking with me to the new decade. Hope. Hope for a better tomorrow, as
well as the determination to do my part to bring a little light to the
world. For a lot of my life I tried to shed a little happiness through
humor. I did a few wild and silly things, told countless jokes and
stories and wrote comedic scripts.
A few things have changed.
I’m not as funny as I used to be. I tell people “I’m funny on paper,
but I’m not that humorous in person.” When I go to a party I’d rather
engage someone in an earnest dialogue than stand on a table with a
lampshade on my head. When I look in the mirror I’m still astounded
that the image reflected back to me is not a skinny, goofy and animated,
young woman, but a middle-aged grandma who needs to exercise, pay more
attention to what she eats, and needs a cup of coffee and a shot of
liquid vitamins to kick into second gear. I am not the same crazy Sally
Marks I once was.
And that’s okay.
As much as we
might want things to stay the same, our lives, our country and our
universe are constantly changing. It does no good to pine away about
things in the past. We can cherish good memories and show appreciation
for our blessings. But we cannot be assured that those blessings will
always be with us. However, we can keep the light of hope in our hearts
and constantly challenge ourselves to work toward a better future. As I
write this I am one hour away from a new year and new
hope for tomorrow.
I’m not partying this New Year’s Eve. My
spouse and I are staying home. But, I am doing exactly what I
want to do, writing something that I hope will inspire someone. Maybe
that sounds crazy. Hmmm. I guess I haven’t changed as much as I
thought. I may be older, fatter, and hopefully wiser, but deep down,
and in my own special way, I’m still that “crazy Sally Marks.”
Have a happy, healthy, prosperous and loving New Year.