Only in Rome — It is time to welcome spring

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It looks as though we are beginning to open up as a community. Please be careful and safe and continue to use all appropriate precautions to prevent another outbreak of COVID-19. We’re all in uncharted territory and it’s up to all of us to care for each other and to respect the health and safety measures that are essential to keep us moving forward. Sometimes as a small community we feel like we are exempt from what the rest of the world is experiencing. We are certainly different from NYC or other large metropolitan areas, but we are still at risk and it’s IMPORTANT to follow all guidelines and protocols.

SPRING IS HERE

The last few days we have seen some sun and warmer temperatures. Hopefully this is the “real” beginning of spring and we can get outside and begin to enjoy the warmer temperatures. After a long winter, coupled with COVID-19 restrictions, it feels amazing to get outside and begin to interact with other people.

The benefits of fresh air and healthy relationships, especially during these times, feels better than any medications that could be prescribed. We all take many things for granted and unfortunately sometimes it takes a crisis to understand how truly blessed we are as individuals and families.

Many of you were unable to work or visit loved ones. Many of you were forced to seclude yourselves in your homes. Many of you had to go without certain necessities. In some way we all suffered and had to make concessions and modify the way we operate and live. All because of a worldwide virus.  It makes us think and understand how fragile we are as a species.

Hopefully something good will emerge from this pandemic and if it’s only a realization that we must appreciate life more than we did, well that’s a beginning. Maybe we’ll all stop complaining about what’s wrong with our lives and start praising and appreciating what’s right and good in our lives. I’m sure if you look within and around you’ll be able to identify something positive from this crazy time in which we are living.

John F. Kennedy once said, “when written in Chinese, the word ‘crisis’ is composed of two characters. One represents danger and the other represents opportunity.” If we look at our circumstances and respect the danger and seize the opportunity, I am confident as individuals, communities, and nations that not only will we prevail, but that we will improve and prosper.

TALK THE TALK AND WALK THE WALK

I’m guilty more than I’d like to admit of talking the talk, but not walking the walk. Julie says I offer great advice, but many times I fail to follow my own suggestions. I can’t disagree! Last night for example, I open the silverware drawer to get a fork and I loudly ask who emptied the dishwasher last and put the silverware away? Julie responds, “Matt did it.” My response can not be written.

What did I find? The forks were facing the wrong way. The serving spoons were where the knives should be and besides everything else not in order, it was messy. I’m lashing out irrationally over something that took me two minutes to correct. Not only did I irritate myself, but I made Julie uncomfortable with my response. Why not be thankful that somebody other Julie was trying to help around the house.

If you know how many times I’ve asked Matt to help with something and unlike other children or young adults, Matt never says no or complains, he just does what is asked without any attitude. I need to appreciate Matt more than I do and stop finding negatives when I can observe positives. I’m guessing I’m not as easy to live with as I think I am…If we all took more time and effort to try and live our lives in a manner that we expect others to live theirs, I’m guessing we would all be a little more tolerant.

FANTASY

Have you ever dreamed of winning the lottery and living a life of leisure? Have you ever wondered what it would be like to spend money without worrying about paying bills and being responsible? Have you ever thought about sharing enormous wealth with others? I’m sure most of you answered yes. I’m sure many of you play the lottery for these reasons and more.

May I suggest you spend some quiet time alone and self- assess, be introspective, be objective, be honest and true to yourself.

What will you find? I know I have found that I have already hit the lottery and my fantasies are real. I’m healthy, I have an amazing family, I married the girl of my dreams, I have a job, I have a roof over my head, I’ve been given countless advantages, I’m happy, I give and receive love, I need people and people need me, I have friends, I believe in God and know my ultimate future, I’m aware that I have many faults and make mistakes, I’m able to say I love you and I’m sorry, I have good days and bad days, I win and I lose. My life is a fantasy that has come true and if you look at yours with a perspective of appreciation and thanks, I’m sure your life is a fantasy that has come true as well. Be happy, it’s a state of mind.

I wish you all a happy month of May and enjoy the warm weather and sunshine. I look forward to sharing next month’s column and remember to pray for those in need and it’s ok to pray for yourself. Be well and be blessed.

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