life lessons

Humble Lesson

Hi my friend,

What’s happening in your world? Are you as amazed as I that an entire day can pass and when I do a mental inventory, I’ve got little to show for the spent hours and minutes? And yet, the days go by – a walk here, a load of laundry there…

…oh, and a little free-floating anxiety for good measure.

Have you heard the fantastic story of the gentleman in the U.K. who celebrated his 100th birthday by walking back and forth in his garden, hoping to get some support for the NHS? As a result he has inspired the public’s emotional and financial enthusiasm – he has become a joyous, endearing icon (he’s got the greatest smile) and over $100M in donations have been made in his name.

What a difference a day can make, huh?

The owner of the studio where I go to do my lame-but-earnest attempt at exercise (when not on lockdown), travels from pillar to post, offering socially distant cardio and dance classes – one of which occurs on my driveway Thursday mornings. Four women, one incredible instructor and some good music. What she provides to those who can’t come to her these days is immeasurable. We laugh, we talk, we breathe, we dance. We are the better for her.

And she does this everyday.

So this is what I was thinking about while I was standing in line at the supermarket (mask, check; acceptable distancing, check). What the hell have I done that even comes close to paying a bit of rent for the gift of being here? I was at my self-flagellating best – I need to do more, be better, think more creatively, come on Mim, if not now…

I check FB, and see a note from a woman who was one of my campers (back in the day, obviously). I made a difference to her. Whatever I did, and Lord knows I can’t remember what – it mattered to her. Fret not, this isn’t a pity post – really. I’m a decent mom, an even better Gigi; I’ve accomplished a lot; impacted some, enraged others, and occasionally even lit a spark. I think I finally figured out this whole marriage thing, after a couple of false starts. I try. All in all, I’m ok. That said, nothing really measures up to the contributions of many – let alone the contributions of doctors, nurses, first responders, etc. On balance, is it enough to be nice…can I really be satisfied with the logic of the butterfly effect? I’m not sure – my hands are empty, no matter how full my heart may be.

This is at worst a lesson in humility – there are people doing extraordinary things to remind us of our better selves. There are people who challenge us to try a bit harder to step outside of our own story. And if that’s the worst, that ain’t bad. At best, this is a love note to Jayne Ritter, who gave me far more this morning, than I might have offered all those years ago.

19 thoughts on “Humble Lesson

  1. Some stars light up the sky and obliterate every shadow they can see. Some asteroids make an impact here or there, and their presence is felt near and far in the moment. You my dear are a meteor that continues to light up the sky on a daily basis just by being you. You shine light on so many of us, and don’t even realize the impact you have so regularly. It fills my heart with joy and pride every time I look upwards and see you streaking across the sky, because I know you’re making an impact every day, just by shining your light and erasing shadows in all of our lives. Thank you a Mimi.

  2. Not everyone has it in them to go out there and do more than others. And that’s ok. We ofttimes encourage and uplift others without our knowing – as you just found out 😉
    Have a fabulous Sunday, Mimi!

  3. There is no way anyone is topping Andy’s sweet comment, but I will happily second his observation that your light shines brightly every minute of every day. You enrich the lives of those around you simply by being you…caring, compassionate, witty, wise and always loving. Never doubt for one minute that you are making a difference, lovey. You are…Every. Single. Day.

    1. My life is equally enriched by your friendship and love…and believe me, Andy was sucking up a little when he wrote that (sweet though it is)…💕💕💕

  4. You are something. Posts that park us next to you on the couch as you share your day. Awed by your ability to do this, and share what runs through you mind. Fascinating…

    1. How can you be awed by any of this, when you take us along on your runs or heading into Grand Central or walking in the city. If anything, I take lessons from you, Grasshopper…

  5. Beautiful post Mimi. Sometimes the little opportunities and small gestures we see and create with one another can have the biggest impact. 🙂 Never underestimate your impact in this world.

  6. Dearest Mimi — Being on the West Coast there is not a better treat for me than making a cup of coffee and opening my e-mail to a karma truck post first thing in the morning. We all agree with Andy that we are spoiled by the grace of your prose. And at this juncture, I am sure it is a real treat that you will be making dinner! We are all humbled during this time of great challenges. Here in our home, we are grateful for so much. And we are trying in our own way to pay that gratitude forward. On another note, I look out my window each day and see how children show us how to find simple daily joy. They are blowing huge bubbles that pop and shoot rainbows into the sky, they play hide and seek, they run, hop, skip, and jump and they just make you happy. Our gardeners are not showing up regularly, but yesterday two deer walked up and trimmed the bottom of the fruit tree by eating the leaves, no charge! I wish I could be there on Thursdays to dance with you in the driveway!

    1. Oh Bunny, I read this and I can hear your voice!! I can picture your house and yard and the generosity with which you shared the leaves with the deer!! I’d love for you to be here on Thursdays too…sending you love as always…xom

    1. Hi BonBon!! So good to see your name and feel your spirit…Thank you for the vote of confidence. I wait so long to write sometimes, that I feel like I’m just pilling words – none of which make any sense or flow particularly well. I’m glad you ‘get’ me

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