Saturday, March 04, 2006

Forty and One Month

I've been told that I need to update my blog. It has been two whole weeks, hasn't it? And in our twenty-first century American way of looking at things, that is a long time.

I heard Lauren Winner say, giving a talk on the significance of the church calendar, that our American perspective on time is not just skewed, it is evil.

People who know me well won't be surprised that I agree with her. I know that for me, living in Italy and Croatia affected the way I experience America's time distortions. But it's not just that. It's that I've experienced in my own (American) life how the hurried, non-stop, fill-up-every-spare-moment approach can quickly drain life of any meaning and bring on all kinds of neurotic responses, killing love and joy and peace and just about everything that matters. (Yes, I know that "neurotic" is not an appropriate clinical term anymore, but has anyone found a better word for what we mean by it in non-clinical parlance?)

Anyway, since moving back to the States, I have worked hard not to be shaped by this culture's way of viewing time.

Which means that today, rather than rushing back from Brownsville to Memphis via the 70 mph interstate, I opted for a countryside ramble on the 40 mph Koko-Stanton two-lane road, where I saw cows up close, and old homes and daffodils. Took some pictures of an old church. (Keep watching this blog for photos later.) Even found a new business that had the same last name of my extended family. Stopped in and found that it is indeed owned by a cousin.

The work of resisting this culture's way of living in time also means that, as you know, I said openly on this blog that I turned 40. It's fun to me when people think I'm younger, but I don't want to even think for a moment that getting older means I'm somehow losing more than I'm gaining.

Today I'm forty years and one month, and I will report that in the past month I have grown wiser, I've spoken at a professional conference for the first time in my adult life, I've had lots of wonderful time with friends, I've walked among the daffodils, planted tulips and crocuses for the first time, and I've even gotten more compliments on my hair than I had in the past 5 years combined.

And I can't really think of anything I've lost that would outweigh those things. (Oh, yes, and I've lost a couple of pounds, too.)

So, from here the view looks pretty good.

(There, Lisa, I've updated it. And Happy Birthday to you, too!)


Lawrence Underwood said...

It is so good to see your blog back up. And, you look good for your creakity old age:) I used to love to drive that road.

I'm curious: what's the lowdown our our entrepenurial kin?

Melody said...

I'm glad to see your blog back too! Happy belated birthday from me! :)

Lisa said...

You chose a great birthday picture! That was a wonderful evening, wasn't it?

Thanks for sharing part of your day with me recently. I treasure you!


Shawn Griffith said...


Happy 40 years and almost 2 months now. You have a wonderful disposition and perspective. You know, you don't sound too “offly torked” about being 40.


Sheila said...

A quick catch up:

Lawrence, I'm not sure who you mean by entreprenurial kin?

Melody, I wrote you on your blog.

Lisa, yes, it was wonderful. I can't imagine life without my treasured friends.

Shawn, thank you! I wish my disposition and perspective were consistenly wonderful, but then perhaps I would not be human? And no, I'm not offly torked. Check in again when the arthritis sets in. :-)

CPMcMillion said...

I so much relate to the comments about rushing through life. In fact, Judy and I spent a wonderful evening this past Tursday discussing how much that pace sucks the very life out of us. (Ask her about the mad rush down the highway with the wind blowing all the doors shut until the one trapped inside is frying like bacon on a sidewalk, with no circulation at all.)