Sunday, March 9, 2008

Rules To Live By

I know I've been gone awhile. I didn't fall off the face of the earth, die in an accident, or lose all my fingers. Damned close though, because I sure feel like I've been run over by a Mack truck and dragged a few miles. I've been moving, as in moving my entire household to a new home. Every muscle, every joint, and every bone in my body hurts. Just a blatant reminder that, as I've pointed out before, by the time you reach a certain age (52, or thereabouts, for me) the body just doesn't do what the mind thinks it can. "Do-it-yourself" isn't always a rational alternative.

You're probably wondering why the hell I didn't hire movers (been asking myself that every morning, as I crawl out of bed to go at it again for six days in a row). Well, the cash just wasn't there on such short notice. I survived, but I'll be putting away a 'moving fund' each month now, so I can pay someone else to move me next time. And with a little luck, I won't have to move for at least a few years.

In the year I've been here, I haven't had enough time to collect a lot of things I no longer want. I got rid of all that when I moved last time. But a three-bedroom house still has a lot of stuff in it! And Lord, I was temped to put even more out for the garbage man. In the end, I couldn't part with any of it, and moved it all. I questioned myself more than once how one person can accumulate so many things, but I rationalized that 52 years is a long time, and some of my sentimentally valued things date back more than 40 years.

Regardless, I logged in eighty miles on two vehicles to move 2.5 miles away. You do the math and figure out how many loads I moved with those two vehicles, and one 8 foot flatbed trailer.

One thing I just have to remark on is 'collections'. I don't collect knickknacks, or valuable items beyond a few small things. I collect clothes and shoes. Specifically, boots. I can't walk in a shoe store and not walk out with a pair of boots, if they have any I like. I counted them this time. I have (brace yourself) 42 pairs of boots; work boots, motorcycle boots, ankle, knee, and thigh high boots, low heel to very high heel boots. And that doesn't include all my other shoes. I had to laugh at the expression on the face of one guy who helped me load my clothes and shoes/boots into my vehicle; all 12 40-gallon garbage bags full. He is a young man, with a wife and young daughter. I told him there are two definite things in life; death and taxes. But there is one more definite thing in life if you're female; shoes and hangers will multiple exponentially with age. Thank God my new master bedroom has two walk-in closets; one for clothes and one for shoes.

It is said that, when you move, you find out which of your friends are truly friends, and which of them are not. The ones who are, will still speak to you after they've helped you move. I know this to be true. If not because of the hard work involved, then because I am not the easiest person to partner with in this kind of work. I'm bull-headed, bossy, and driven, when I take on such a distasteful task. Hey, I have my shortcomings like anyone else, OK?

Last year this time, when I moved from Maine to Florida, my best friend in the whole world took three weeks off from work to help me. He spent a week helping me pack and load the truck (in the snow, no less), loaded my motorcycle in his trailer, and followed me 1600 miles down to Florida with it. Then he spent another 6 hours in the middle of the night helping me unload the truck into a storage unit. He spent several days driving around with me, so I could see the area and where I might want to live. Then he drove back home to Maine. AND, he is still my friend. That's what I'm talking about!

This time around, another friend, local to Tallahassee, spent an entire day helping me move most of the heavy furniture. He's not a very big guy, but certainly stronger than I. His big heart makes up for any physical size. He's still talking to me too. You know who you are, and I love you for it. You ROCK! (Click on the pic to see it animate.)

So, today, when I received another chain email, a Feng Shui list (you know the kind -- one that you must send out to a certain number of people, and in a specified time limit, to avoid bad luck), I decided that it deserved posting. My philosophy doesn't include the kind of hogwash that you must send out email to everyone you know in order to live an honorable life, or to be lucky, but the list below is a good start. And it all starts with the person you see in the mirror each morning. One must endeavor to practice each item in this list, every day, and that will enrich your life, and the others around you. Try it for a month and see what happens.

If you don't, you may or may not have bad luck. But if you do, you might find someone to help you move next time you're faced with doing it yourself.

Rules To Live By (Life's Feng Shui)

  1. Give people more than they expect and do it cheerfully.
  2. Marry a man/woman you love to talk to. As you get older, their conversational skills will be as important as any other.
  3. Don't believe all you hear, spend all you have or sleep all you want.
  4. When you say, 'I love you,' mean it.
  5. When you say , 'I'm sorry,' look the person in the eye.
  6. Be engaged at least six months before you get married.
  7. Believe in love at first sight.
  8. Never laugh at anyone's dreams. People who don't have dreams don't have much.
  9. Love deeply and passionately. You might get hurt but it's the only way to live life completely.
  10. In disagreements, fight fairly. No name calling.
  11. Don't judge people by their relatives.
  12. Talk slowly but think quickly.
  13. When someone asks you a question you don't want to answer, smile and ask, 'Why do you want to know?'
  14. Remember that great love and great achievements involve great risk.
  15. Say 'bless you' when you hear someone sneeze.
  16. When you lose, don't lose the lesson.
  17. Remember the three R's: Respect for self; Respect for others; and Responsibility for all your actions.
  18. Don't let a little dispute injure a great friendship.
  19. When you realize you've made a mistake, take immediate steps to correct it.
  20. Smile when picking up the phone. The caller will hear it in your voice.
  21. Spend some time alone.
  22. (And my personal addition) Do what makes you happy, but harm no one.
A true friend is someone who reaches for your hand and touches your heart.

And the next time you decide to move, even if it's only a few miles away, like I did, hire some movers and save yourself (and your friends) the aches and pains that will follow you around for days afterward.

Now, if I could only figure out a way to type on my computer while soaking in the bathtub, I'd be set for life. I'll settle for the hot water, some good music, and a glass of wine. Life is good. Time enough to unpack tomorrow.


Shirley Vandever said...

Great to have you back !

Sam said...

Thanks Shirley. It's good to be back as well. I'm about halfway unpacked but the hard part's over, and now I have time to get back to such things as blogs and morning coffee at my computer.