Being Beautiful: Tethering hot air balloons, loosely


There has always been more than a little bit of Peter Pan in me.

I love the notion of fairies, Tinker Bell and all of her sisters. The idea of shoving off on a pirate ship destined for adventure and treasure seemed like a viable occupation to me longer than my mama thought it should. The ever-watchful Nana dog which tried to keep the Darling children protected and acting properly is present and busy in my life. We call her Stella instead of Nana.

Now if I could only find some Pixie dust, instead of just the plain dust which comes from not quite enough attention to the windows and whatnots in my seldom-used guest rooms. I am sure I have it in me to find the second star to the right and straight on ‘til morning, which is supposedly the path to Neverland.

I should be a great success there if I find it, because my daddy said I have been a lost boy more than a few times. I’m not sure it’s quite the same or that he meant it as a compliment, just expressing his concern that my flight path was not always properly thought out or filed.

When it comes down to the moment of truth, I have lived a wonderful, but largely extemporaneous life. There haven’t been lots of long-contemplated plans. Few lists or five-year plans have been made, and New Year’s resolutions often don’t linger all the way until February. If you want to cast it in the negative, I have a short attention span, kind of like the Dory fish in “Finding Nemo.” If you want to cast it in the positive, however (and I always do), I have almost unlimited capacity to contemplate new ideas and the flexibility to move in a different direction at a moment’s notice.

It makes life fun and rewarding for me, the rewards often coming from unexpected people and paths I would never have even met or traveled if I were predictable and more traditionally grounded. It makes life frustrating sometimes for loved ones who think the Saturday morning housework should really be done on Saturday morning or who want to arrive for the 2 p.m. matinee much in advance of 2 p.m.

In different seasons, I have tried to fight against my nature and become a more conforming person. Mostly, I have lost those battles with myself, and mostly I don’t fight them anymore. Perhaps that great American poet Popeye said it best:  “I yam what I yam.”

Surely, what I yam is not “perfect,” but perfect sounds so boring and also unattainable. Neither is what I yam the poster child for “normal,” but normal is also so boring and also unattainable, at least for me. I have decided if I want to take a hot bath in the middle of the afternoon and do my work at 3 a.m. rather than 3 p.m. to give myself permission.

I am very blessed to have built a life which allows such deviations from the norm, and Stella and a few people who love me just as I am keep my hot air balloon tethered, loosely, so I don’t fly away altogether.

Contact David at [email protected]

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