Thursday, May 10, 2012

Live, Live, Live

Live, Live, live! "Life's a banquet and most poor suckers are starving to death!" - Auntie Mame
The above quote was written by Patrick Dennis, and it is one of my most favorite quotes, while the movie is one of my favorite movies (right up there with my all time favorite flick: Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory [the original]).

My other favorite quote is:
Live, Love, Laugh
I have no idea where this quote came from originally, but it has always struck me as a strong motto for the short time we have here on earth.

Amazing People I know:

I am contemplating these quotes because some amazingly strong and inspiring people I know received some equally amazing bad news. One friend has to endure treatment for breast cancer, and the prospect of a full mastectomy.  Another newly acquired friend is dealing with the death of her best friend and three, now inherited, teenagers to raise after this friend shot herself.  I also watched a strong skater and amazing kind woman fall and break her ankle last night.  She broke both bones around the shin area, but her resolve and strength while the medics removed her skate was heroic - even if she let go with some choice words in the process. I also have a male friend who is fighting cancer and has been undergoing stem-cell treatments.  He has an amazing partner and friend who makes sure he sings Karaoke whenever he can.

Over the past few years, I have had friends lose their homes, and become nomadic in order to financially survive. I have seen friends actively squat in their homes after losing their job, not able to find a new job, waiting for the bank to take it all away (banks that refuses to work with them - "Oh that paper work got lost, you will have to fill it out again"). 

I have seen a kindred spirit almost give up on her life entirely, only to re-embrace life and living once more - rising above it all. I have family members who have had to deal with the company they work for being sold and then sold again ... hanging on to their job by a thread and a prayer, knowing that without that job, and the health insurance it provides, taking care of a special needs son will be more than simply difficult.

What strikes me about these folks and many more amazing people in my life, is that despite it all, regardless of it all, including their own down moments and hitting a few brick walls, these people embody the two quotes above, even in the midst of heart wrenching, life attacking news. We would all be wise to take their lead and emulate them.

As Dennis observed, most of us are starving to death in life.  We work for big houses, shinny toys, or to get a head and plan for that illusive, but promised, retirement.  We work for the day we will have time to savor life.  What a mistake. What a pack of lies we all have been spoon fed and for why? For what?  Often, simply to help others live the high life that we will never gain. And even if we could gain that high life, would it be worth the life we sacrifice in order to get it "all," the so-called "American dream"?   For me, that price is just too high.

The meaning of life: 

42.  Yep, Douglas Adams was right because it was about around the age of 42 that I started to realized that life was about living, experiencing, loving, laughing, and learning.  If we live to make money, to buy things, we are doing none of the above.  Although it is spouted as a virtue, the puritan work ethic has failed most of us. Work is important, but somehow in the U.S. (I can only speak for my experience in this culture), working replaces living.  We even give up or work thorough our vacations.  I know my husband and I did this for years  -- what idiots we were!
Fools! Live, live, live!
Don't Worry, Be Happy .....

... is a stupid phrase, but a fun song. Life won't be about moments of perfection without worry everyday, and it certainly is not about escaping worry.  Learning always comes at a price and the cost is rarely cheap, although the payoff can be glorious. Go a head and worry, but do not let that worry displace or replace happiness and the chance for happiness.  In the midst of worry, find excuses to laugh, find excuses to make bad jokes or make light of a horrible situation.  Learn the Ukulele, learn Roller Derby, make your friend teach you how to draw or paint, sing karaoke and go play a rousing round of butt darts. Those are my vices and you will have to find yours.  But find them!  Our ability to laugh and to not take life too seriously is one of our gifts, one of those national medicines given to us in this world, and it is squashed/wasted far too much.

As I write this, I realize I am the queen (or a queen) of melodrama, dwelling, and workaholic tendencies. But I have actively worked against these qualities for a while now and I must say, letting go of that control is really quite a lovely gift and a relief.

To my friends and family struggling right now, I thank you for your gift of friendship, for your example of grace and fart jokes under fire, your lessons about living, and your presence in my life. 

Now, the next time we get together, we should play some butt darts ... Butt Darts on Roller Skates ... just because.


  1. Fabulous! What a wonderful outlook and fart jokes do go far on the road of healing laughter!

  2. Kathryn, don't they just??? I remember hiding a fart machine under my seat in the passenger side of the car during a difficult cross country trip from Florida to Seattle. We were moving back her with our puppy and cats and it was a LONG drive. I kept pretending I farted, making George laugh at first and then show deep concern (what they hell are you eating lady). Classic. Took forever for him to figure it out :)

  3. What? No, "Roller derby is the game of life writ large."


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