Things I know

Several years ago I came across a blogpost written by Anne Lamott in the realization that she was going to be 61 years old in 48 hours.  Her introductory paragraph is this:

I am going to be 61 years old in 48 hours.  Wow, I thought I was only forty-seven, but looking over the paperwork, I see that I was born in 1954.  My inside self does not have an age, although I can’t help mentioning as an aside that it might have been useful had I not followed the Skin Care rules of the sixties, i.e., to get as much sun as possible while slathered in baby oil.  (My sober friend Paul O said, at eighty, that he felt like a young man who had something wrong with him.).  Anyway, I thought I might take the opportunity to write down every single thing I know, as of today.

The truth of the matter is that I am going to be 61 years old in 48 hours, so it seemed too much of a coincidence not to take Anne Lamott’s paradigm and write down some things I know, I’m not willing to say it is everything I know, as of today. So here goes.

  1. All human beings are imperfect, and I’m one.  Regardless of how hard we try for our sake or others, trying to be perfect is ultimately a futile exercise.  Learning to accept our weaknesses when they disappoint others and ourselves is a major part of the journey.
  2. It is possible to love every genre of music that you hear even when you’re not a gifted musician.  And singing loudly in a stairwell of concrete, iron, tile, and glass can make you believe you have the best voice you’ve ever heard.
  3. Travis Kelce and Patrick Mahomes have weaknesses and please do not ever point them out to me.
  4. Every baby, kitten, and puppy is cute, period.  Baby snakes are not, and ticks, and some spiders.
  5. Different amounts of melanin in the skin do not define intelligence or character, intelligence and character do.
  6. Good people are not always all good, and bad people are not always all bad.  Look in the mirror and work on forgiveness.
  7. Big trucks are fun and diesel is expensive and bad for the ozone.  Life is a conundrum.
  8. Human beings are endlessly fascinating and frustrating, intriguing and entertaining, miraculous and messy, endlessly creative and unbelievably complex – we have seen the enemy and the friend, and they are all us.
  9. A pot of gold at the end of the rainbow is the end of the rainbow.  Wait, whaaaaat?!?
  10. From a friend:  Sometimes it rains on the just, sometimes it rains on the unjust, and sometimes it just rains.
  11. Coffee with a friend is the echo of a sacrament.
  12. The veil between earth and heaven is very thin.
  13. Anne Lamott quoting Ram Das: “when all is said and done, we’re all just walking each other home.”
  14. Love. Always. Wins.
  15. We are not the center of God’s universe.  Grace is.
  16. Oh, and one more thing.  Yes, Mary knew.

Not all of the above are original ideas and frankly I don’t always remember where things enter my brain and from whom and when – so if you see things you know you’ve heard a version of before, me too. I do love to learn and connect ideas and see things from different angles when possible. My hope is that never stops for any one of us whether we’re 1, 31, or yes, even 61!

Blessings as we move into a new year of life – gifts of grace in struggle and celebration.  May the journey be saturated with God who moves before us and in us!


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