Don’t worry. Be happy.
I have no idea who said that, and as much as it is true, sometimes it just seems a lot easier to worry than just be happy.
Weird, but true.
I hate to admit it, but I worried and fretted about a couple of things lately that I shouldn’t have wasted my time worrying and fretting about.
My rock garden, for instance.
It looked awesome.
Every little plant and flower was placed with meticulous attention to detail.
There was little impatiens, their delicate flower heads gracing the garden with colour. There were a few hardy begonias, filled with promise of luxurious blooms, rich in colour. There were day lilies and snapdragons, petunias and marigolds, alyssum and lobelia.
Overall, it was a garden rich with promise. Even the rocks looked good, for crying out loud.
My friend, the gardener and I, finished planting the rock garden, stood up rather stiffly, which is what you do if you are a gardener of somewhat mature status, and brushed off our blue jeans.
We were done.
“It is lovely”, we said to each other, congratulating ourselves and being all happy with life itself.
It was less than an hour later that the hail came.
It came with a vengeance, pounding out the delicate little impatiens, pummeling the begonias to a limp, barely recognizable state and completing anilating the alyssum.
After the hail, sheets of rain lashed down with relentless fury, crashing through the downspout by the corner of my house and into my basement.
As I was on my hands and knees, moping up the basement floor, I was suddenly overcome with helpless laughter.
Why do we disillusion ourselves into thinking we are boss, anyway?
For days I had this illusion of perfection and how my little rock garden would blossom into some kind of rock garden miracle. I worried and fretted about the process of making that happen for days.
Now I realize all my worrying and fretting was a total waste of time.
Sadly enough, I still didn’t get it, though. I found something else to worry and fret about the very next day.
I am lucky enough to have a family tree that just keeps growing. On this tree are six delightful grandchildren, each unique and wonderful in their own way. One of these dear little people is an incredible, talented 13 going on 20 granddaughter. She is wisdom and innocence all wrapped up in a delightful package of perfection.
Despite the obvious age difference, one thing I have in common with this beautiful child is a love of music.
And on Monday we were to play in a piano recital together.
I thought it would be so cool. I pictured it all in my mind.
Emilie would play and then I would play and our piano teacher would say, “And this is Emilie’s grandma, they both take music lessons together. Isn’t it awesome.”
And then I would walk up to the stage, looking all grandma like and confident. And I would play a slightly complicated piece on the keyboard and everyone would nod and clap and then we would all have cookies and juice and people and go home.
Unfortunately, in my mind, I couldn’t get past the playing part.
For days I was so nervous, my fingers would tremble when I thought of actually getting up there in front of all these parents, all of whom, no doubt, have at least Grade 8 in music.
And so I practiced. And practiced. But, mostly I worried because that was much easier.
The day of the concert came and I got a text from Emilie’s mom.
“Emilie is very sick. She won’t be playing tonight.”
And so it came to be that I did not play either, because I really only wanted to do the grandmother/granddaughter thing. I probably should have played, but then what would I have to worry about.
Of course, I probably would have figured out something before too long.
If only I could remember the lesson to always be grateful for the moment, the day and the little joys hidden along the way. Joys like a really good golf shot or being all happy when a favourite song gets played on the radio. Joys like a sudden, unexpected hug from a friend or hearing the soft, sweet voice of a grandchild on the phone lisping the words, ‘Hi, grandma.’
Life’s a lot like school, it seems. It’s hard to remember the lesson and, if you don’t get it the first time, you have to take the class again.
Treena Mielke is the editor of the Rimbey Review and writes a regular column for The Pipestone Flyer.