At the age of 45, writer Regina Brett wrote a column for the Cleveland Plain Dealer listing 45 lessons that life had taught her thus far. As a breast cancer survivor, many of those lessons were learned the hard way. Five years later she added five more lessons rounding her list up to 50 and turned her popular list into a book called God Never Blinks. I found her list to be entertaining, inspiring and thought provoking. I thought I would go through each of her lessons learned and write about how that lesson has or has not come up in my own life, now that I am over 40 and feel old enough to have finally learned something.
"Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting for you to discover."
~ LESSON #39
It takes a lot for me to become stir crazy. I have spent many a weekend snug as a bug in a rug in my home, curled up on the couch, watching bad TV and being thankful that Andy feeds me so I don't have to get up or go out and find something to eat. Some might call that lazy. I call it bliss. However, when a little Bumble comes into your world and requires you to get out of bed at the crack of dawn and you find yourself wide-awake, showered and holding a baby already bored with the circuit of toys our home provides by 9AM, you do whatever you can to get the hell out of the house. The miracle I'm looking for by heading outside is a peaceful baby boy.
In a typical Boston winter, we would be hibernating indoors from November to March due to blistering wind chills and heavy snowfall. There would not be the opportunity to take a stroll somewhere other than in a mall or museum and the process of scraping ice, shoveling snow and bundling layer upon layer to get there is not often worth it, nevermind the poor driving conditions. But this year is the anti-winter in Boston. We have had snow once - ONCE - the entire season. And judging by Sammy's reaction above to that expedition, it is a good thing. He must have inherited his mother's aversion to the white stuff. Instead, most weeks this winter there has been at least one day warm enough to go for a walk through the neighborhood.
We go in and out, running all kinds of errands without the hassle of clearing off the car or worrying about slippery roads. We can hang out on the back porch and watch Tedy wonder how to catch birds. We can check out our neighbor's backyard ice rink which has been nothing more than a swimming pool this season. Forever resourceful, they were out there in their canoe with the lights on the other night, making the most of what nature has given us.
As the warmer weather arrives for good, my walks with Sammy will become more frequent and longer. As his alertness improves and his motor skills develop, we'll be able to explore outside and I'll smile at all of the firsts he discovers from the miracles all around us. While I would still prefer to sleep in and watch the wonders of the world from the comfort of my couch via the National Geographic channel, I am doing my best to make sure my little boy grows up to prefer going outside every day to find those miracles waiting for him. If nothing else, it will give me time to take a nap.