I love the absurd sayings of Yogi Berra. One of my favorites is, “When you come to a fork in the road, take it.”
I did just that when I retired from Catawba County Library System. On Jan. 28, I packed up my office stuff and headed out to a new adventure. Then some of you in Reader Land asked if I’d ever write a column again. Which put me at another fork in the road, and heaven knows you can’t stand in the fork very long, so here goes.
The inspired among us say that picking a Word of the Year can change your life. I decided in 2015 I would focus on “fun.” I chose that word because it’s better to have it than not.
To prove how serious I am about fun, I’ve ridden two roller coasters, allowed myself to not finish a book I didn’t like. I’ve listened to an Enya CD while I pretend to balance my checkbook. I’ve introduced myself to a new grocery store, toured a farmer’s market just to take pictures, gone to three first-run movies.
I’ve taken time to savor a cup of hot tea and shortbreads on chilly afternoon. I’ve taken time to remark about the crocus peeping out of the mulch. I’ve ridden down the highway listening to Jan & Dean with the windows rolled down. All this and it’s only February.
Fun is as fun does. A writer friend has a goal to get rid of anything in her house that annoys her. Cleaning out drawers and closets can be their own kind of fun I suppose, reminiscing over objects you’ve forgotten you had and, obviously, could do without. It’s fun to get things in order, to repurpose the excess—pass it along to charity or give as gag gifts, a ticket to uproarious fun. The best part of the purge is the exhilaration of the clean sweep, knowing you have helped others to your junk instead of feeding the landfill.
I suppose this means I should sort through those four boxes of office stuff I brought home. The boxes are annoying because they’ve sitting in the middle of the room for almost a month now. If it would rain or snow or sleet, I’d have an excuse to tackle those boxes and check that task off the list.
Panglossoian is a 50-cent word meaning “excessive optimism.” A Panglossian chooses the path to the happy place, not that life is a simple matter or that one never experiences heartache or disappointment.
My Panglossian self was put to the test last week I was having a lovely evening out with friends when I accidentally dropped my new cellphone on the sidewalk. Five weeks into owning this phone, and it already has a tiny chip and cracked screen. It’s very annoying but I can’t throw it out. My whole life is tied up in that little flat square with its absurd glass face.
The Panglossian in me says to seize the damage for the memory of a fun evening. My phone now has character because I chose fun over staying home on a rare balmy night in February. The phone still works. It’s ‘no longer “new” or perfect, but then neither am I.
Panglossians can talk themselves into anything.
Photo credits: Yogi Berra, Wikipedia, Baseball Digest; iPhone Wikipedia,Apple Inc.