By G. E. Shuman
So, I was staring at my face in the bathroom mirror this morning, getting ready to shave, after my morning shower. The mirror is the same one I have looked into for the past thirty-five years or so. The face, not so much. Either that or that mirror has really deteriorated over the years.
It must be a matter of muscle memory that I use when opening that cabinet and getting out the shaving cream and razor, as I’m normally still too groggy from the night to put any actual mental effort into this almost infinitely repeated routine. (A few times in the past I have honestly felt my face as I left the bathroom to be certain I did really shave.)
Yes, the face has changed a bit. The hair is different now, (It has no color now and there is less of it.) and I seem to have somehow grown extra eyelids and chins. The crow’s feet have appeared and even grown a bit over time, and things my wife calls ‘jowls’ have taken residence along my jawline. How wonderful. (I blame gravity for this because gravity tends to suck.) Convincing myself that all these things are improvements that give my face a wise and distinguished appearance is not easy. Convincing myself that they make me look old, is.
I thought, as I put the shaving cream and razor away and prepared to leave the bathroom this morning, that this is where most of the daily, regimented routine ends for me. For certain, there are more routine things that I will do, depending on whether it is a work day or a day off, (I pretty much put clothes on every day.) but from that point, at least, all bets are off as to what the day will bring.
Forrest Gump said it best, with his: ‘Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.” To me, not just life, but every day is like that. Every person has both sadness and smiles, every family has trials and triumphs, and every day can bring showers or sunshine, and usually brings surprises. These thoughts came to mind as I got ready for work today and went downstairs to make coffee, collect my thoughts and books, and head for school.
I’m a person who has always tried to ‘fix’ all the fixable things around me, whether they be leaky faucets, distressed family members, or those unknown things you get in life that Forrest Gump was talking about. I’m not sure if that is a good trait or a bad habit, and I guess it depends on the condition of the faucet, family member, or foul up that makes today so special. I also don’t have much patience and want to get things solved ‘right now’ and completely. I have learned or am at least trying to learn that eating the elephant all in one bite seldom works out well. It is better to take things slowly, I am told, and told, and told.
As we face a new year that is already one-twelfth over, (believe it or not,) my plan is to try to worry less, and to trust more. For me, that means to trust God more to handle my problems with me and to avoid the temptation to try to ‘fix it all’ myself. For you, it might be different. It might mean to trust others to be there for you.
I think we would all be happier and maybe even healthier if we followed something told to me many years ago but forgotten about until today. That is: “Life is ten percent what happens to us and ninety percent how we react to it.” I believe that and hope I don’t forget it again, because Mr. Gump was definitely right.