And So It Goes

There is a song by Billy Joel called “And So It Goes” that came on the radio this morning while I was getting ready for the day. It particularly stood out to me this morning because right before it there was a rocking song with guitar licks and drum solos…and right after it there was a melancholy love song with harmonies and orchestra (I was listening to Pandora).

If you’ve never heard the song, click on the link above and have a listen. It is Billy Joel and his piano. Just a voice and the piano telling a story of a man and his partner, their life together, their moments of silence and a recognition that they are the only ones that truly understand each other simply because of their time together. It isn’t the words so much that resonated with me today, but the tone of the song; particularly in contrast to the songs before and after it.

Life seems to me to be mostly simple songs with our voice and a piano. We all have rocking guitar song moments when we go on vacation or our kids do something fantastic or we have that great night out with friends. We always make sure to get those rocking moments out on social media! We also all have melancholy love song moments when important people in our lives go through pain or life deals us a tough circumstance. We might tell a few close friends about these and trooper on. However, most of our lives are spent in our mundane daily tasks, going through life with our partners, family, and friends who understand us simply because of our time together.

Today I’m trying to relish these “And So It Goes” moments more. I’m staring out the window of my office this morning at a grey sky, thankful for a routine morning run after getting the kids off to school. I’m looking at my to do list for the day knowing that there is work to be done and that it is meaningful and enjoyable. I’m thinking about basketball practice tonight and smiling about the fact that I still get to engage with kids in a game I love. It is just a quiet piano solo day, but it can be a beautiful day.

My life will soon have some rocking guitar songs and I’ll be sure to post those to social media for all to see. Life will probably have some melancholy songs in the near future too and I’ll need my friends and family most during those times. But today, life just has a routine Wednesday for me. And So It Goes…

Lessons from Granny

I don’t see my 88 year old Granny Searby nearly enough, but this past week we spent a few hours with her and I quickly realized that I still have a lot of lessons to learn from Granny. As 2013 comes to a close, here’s the reminders I picked up from her during our visit that I’ll keep close to memory for 2014:

– Slow down…Granny isn’t in a hurry to get anywhere, she knows where she’s going and enjoys the getting there.

– Eat just a little each time, but eat several times throughout the day…Granny doesn’t eat a lot at meals, but she takes little snacks throughout the day. Maybe that is why she’s always be thin and fit.

– Exercise a little each time you can…Granny has decided to get a little exercise each time she walks back to her room by walking all the way to the end of the hall and then back to her door before going in – those extra 20-30 feet add up over the course of a week.

– Friends matter…Granny looks as good as I’ve seen her in 5 years and she attributes a lot of it to spending time with the new friends she’s made over the last 6 months at the assisted living center.

– Be thankful…Granny mentioned several times during our time together how thankful she was for the staff, the exercise room, the library, the weekly bingo, the good food. Seemed like she was able to find thanks in the simplest things and it showed on her face.

– Live simply…Granny lives in a small apartment with a living room, kitchenette, bedroom, and bathroom. She doesn’t have a lot of ‘things,’ but she told me that she’s got everything she needs and is as satisfied as she can be.

– Live life to the fullest and cherish each breath…Granny has had a tough year, but she has made the most of it and seems happier than ever.

My hope and prayer for 2014 is that I’ll take these lessons and apply them to my own life. I think they are valuable lessons for us all.