Welcome! This site is an endeavor to spread an attitude of positive thinking and optimism. By searching for joy and beauty in all things - even the mundane, perhaps a smile will spread from my computer ... to you!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

"Gone with the wind..."


So, I'm leaving work early today (I substitute teach at a couple of our local high schools), and it's another GORGEOUS fall afternoon. I have a sweet little red Mini Cooper convertible, and after looking up at the sky and noting one more time what a perfectly blue, cloudless sky it was, I decided to open the top. However, just after I sat down in the driver's seat and made ready to push the button that lowers the rag top, I experienced a fleeting moment of indecision...did I really want to totally screw up my hair - that's in dire need of a haircut, and therefore, extremely difficult to manage right now? After all, I had a get-together with my girlfriends tonight, and I didn't want to have spend too much time re-doing my hair. Furthermore, I didn't have my sunglasses with me, and wouldn't it be too difficult to drive with the sun shining directly into my dry and sensitive eyes?

It was at that moment that I heard the bell to change classes ring. Students came pouring out of the school campus from various doors, meandering this way and that, across the parking lot and common area. While everyone was most decidedly in a hurry to get to their next class, you could still sense an air of happiness and freedom that only being young - and outdoors - can bring. Some students cross this portion of campus simply to cut their walking time in half, but there were a lot of students outside, and I could tell that many of them simply wanted to enjoy being outside in the sunshine - if only for a few short minutes.

I pushed the button - and lowered the rag top. What the heck - it's only hair! A memory returned to me of a much younger woman - at one time in her life MUCH more concerned with never messing her hair or makeup just in case I ran into someone I knew, or someone I didn't know (but that might be important), or better still - a good-looking, eligible bachelor! Now, I'm still a little old-school when it comes to looking "presentable," even when running to the grocery store or the gas station...I may not always wear a full face of makeup on those occasions, but I hardly ever go without mascara and a little lipstick. However, even though a small part of that younger woman will always be with me, I've learned that sometimes we can miss the small, carefree moments of "letting our hair down" - or in this case, letting it be blown completely crazy in the wind!

What did I get a convertible for, anyway? Am I too "old," too "stuffy," or too wrapped-up in self-pride to feel the warmth of the sun on my skin, the smell of fresh air and autumn leaves, or the rush of freedom and joy you feel when driving alone in an open vehicle? Never. Perhaps this is why many of us mid-lifers are drawn to finally purchasing convertibles, motorcycles, or even boats; even if those items aren't expensive top-of-the-line models.

It's not just because we're approaching our later years and worried that "we might not ever get the chance if we don't do it now," or that "we've paid our dues, we finally deserve it!" I like to think it's because we've also learned that no matter how old we get, no matter how far up the social ladder we've climbed, and no matter how classy we dress, it can still feel good to let our hair blow in the wind and not care about who might "see" us doing so!

When is the last time you opened all the windows, the sun-roof or the top of your car; sat at the bow of a cruising boat on the water; rode a motorcycle, bicycle or even a horse, and just...breathed? Open a little window in your life - it's o.k. - I won't tell anyone your hair's a mess! Even if it's pouring rain outside.....it's only hair!!

Pay it forward - spread a smile!

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