That durn Irish gopher! LOL!
I remember my youthful notions. Yes, there was a time when my younger mind had the crazy idea that “someday” everything in life would be perfect—loose ends would all be tied up, the house would be tidy and clean once and for all, the mortgage and credit card bills would all be paid off, the kids would be grown up and living happy healthy lives, and the spouse and I would retire to do a bit of traveling to see the world and lounge on a beach or two (or three).
I remember thinking, in my 30s, that my To-Do list would appear shorter than my list of accomplishments, and that I would eventually have days freed up to sort pictures into photos albums, watch a few home movies, send out greeting cards to friends and family members for no special occasion—just to say “hi” and bring a smile.
I think back to my 40th birthday and what a wonderful feeling it was to know that, as the saying goes, “Life Begins at 40!” —meaning these dreams of mine were about to unfold before my very eyes!
By 50, however, it had become clear that, although some people may have a four-leaf clover plant flourishing in their backyard, I was destined to raise spider plants and philodendrons that don’t require a lot of attention. My purpose in life had evolved from washing soiled diapers and poopy baby bottoms to becoming the cleaner of litter boxes for furry feline creatures that were warm to cuddle (when they were in the mood) and generous with their prize catches. I do try to show my appreciation for their heartfelt gifts of gratitude while secretly disposing of these unmentionables and sometimes indescribables.
Housewife, mother, head cook and bottle washer, I am no stranger to hard work for the sake of my loving family and I am grateful beyond words for all of my blessings—my loving family being at the top of this list. At 60, however, I am acutely aware that my thinking at 20, 30, and 40 was fabulously flawed. This profound revelation is the gift received from what I once thought of as a “silly slapstick movie” starring Bill Murray and a gopher that couldn’t be deterred from popping up out of yet another new gopher hole. I find this so remarkably symbolic of life’s continued poking at us to observe our responses to the irritating interruptions to our so-called status quo, and to recognize these “buttons” we have yet to disable—these buttons we can only become aware of when someone or some situation pushes on them like a doorbell buzzing until we wake up and open up to a new way of thinking and being.
What if the things that we think are “going wrong”—a Murphy’s Law type of attitude—are actually going exactly right for just the same reason: a learning experience to see how we react to life? What if we turn off the expectations and old programming, disconnect those buttons that send us into a tizz, and view all of this as a part of life’s great adventure? Follow the trail of popcorn to the pot of gold?
Trust that the gopher is a messenger of sorts, a teacher in a way, here to help, not just drive us into a frenzy for no reason? We could come to an entirely new understanding of ourselves and a clearer perspective of life’s sweet journey!
There was a time in my younger days when I could definitely relate to Bill Murray’s quest to get that gopher, even if it meant destroying everything around me on my mission to wipe out the very thing that was trying to get me to see the error of my thinking.
My cat, however, has no such reasoning, and has brought me a new gift . . .
Or perhaps he secretly knows that he too is a messenger sent to tell me:
“You’re all right!
Nobody’s worried ’bout you.
Now that you’ve let go of the fight,
let’s have some good gopher stew!”
Hey Murphy! Would ya please pass the potatoes and cabbage this way?
© Jennifer Sweete, January 2017 (No gophers were harmed in the making of this blog 🙂 )
Look for my future Jennifer Sweete blog posts right here!
Books I have enjoyed reading this season:
Plato and Aristotle. A fascinating study of two philosophers somewhat at odds . . . but maybe not really as much as it looks on the surface!
Diane Duane writes YA books, and my grandson started me reading her So You Want to Be a Wizard (first in a series). Finished that one and started her second in the series called Deep Wizardry. I must say – Interesting study on Suspense Writing for YA!
Until we meet again, keep reading, keep writing, keep dreaming!
Jennifer Sweete is the author of Dear Sandy: The letter that wrote itself into a Book (2015) and The Poet & The Widow (2016). She is a Certified Massage Therapist and Usui/Holy Fire Karuna Reiki® Master and teacher, a small business and writer’s consultant, self-mastery coach, musician, poet, and author. And they all fit snugly into the same hat! She’s currently serving her 2nd term as President of the Chaffee County Writers Exchange while assisting other authors through the processes of editing, self-publishing and marketing their books. She resides with her husband, grandson, and furry friend in sunny Colorado. For more info, contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.