What I Hope To Avoid

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I like to make lists: groceries, places to visit, books to read, things to do, topics to tackle with my writing. Such inventories provide me with a visual outline of what I hope to accomplish and sadly now that I grow older a way of actually remembering ideas that pop into my mind and then evaporate all too soon. I don’t think I’ve ever considered making an accounting of things that I will never ever do but people like to challenge me with wild ideas for my blogs. Recently someone asked me to compile such a catalog, no doubt out of curiosity regarding what kind of crazy ideas lurk  in my psyche. I suppose that whatever we avoid says as much about us as what we actually do. So just for fun here is my tally of twenty five things I never want to do.

  1. I’ve heard that snakes hang out in fields of bluebonnets so I won’t be lying down amid the flowers to take a lovely photograph any time soon.
  2. I saw images of a friend skydiving. Since I’ve had to work very hard to make my fragile bones stronger it is highly doubtful that I will test my progress in that regard by jumping out of a plane.
  3. I refused to eat liver and onions as a child and I see no reason whatsoever to try that noxious dish after seventy two years of successfully avoiding it.
  4. I can’t imagine reaching a point at which I am ln longer learning just a little bit more each day.
  5. I refuse to turn on a friend or family member over politics. We may differ wildly in our beliefs about issues but our divergences will never change my personal feelings for them.
  6. I have no desire to travel in a boat. I become seasick at the drop of a hat. My landlubber genes must be quite powerful.
  7. I will never abandon my relationship with God. I don’t always get what I think I want from the heavenly power but I always get what I need.
  8. I will never stop traveling even if I become so frail that my journeys must become virtual. 
  9. I cannot imagine giving up the hard copies of my books. Touching the paper and even smelling the ink is part of the sensual experience of reading.
  10. I will never again mow a lawn. I used to do so every weekend from April through November. Then I found a most wonderful helper named Jose who does a far better job of trimming my lawn and he does it in under an hour. Why would I want to return to doing such a thing myself?
  11. In that same spirit I do not even attempt to undertake any tasks related to plumbing when I have Big John and his crew just a phone call away. I’ve got some great stories about do it yourself plumbing projects that turned into disasters.
  12. My life has improved exponentially with technology and I cannot even consider the idea of one day giving up my laptop, my smart phone or any of the other appliance that make life easier than it has ever before been. I used to just want my MTV but now I am greedy about by Netflix and Amazon and Hulu and Britbox as well.
  13. I will never take my freedoms and privileges for granted. I know full well that by pure happenstance I ended up in a world of opportunity and promise.
  14. I will not listen to nor support individuals who take joy in denigrating or bullying others. I have no time nor desire to encourage them with any form of acceptance.
  15. I will never leave my teaching roots. Somehow I will find a way to help others to learn no matter what my own condition may be. There is no greater joy that passing information from one person to another and watching the seeds of knowledge grow and multiply.
  16. I refuse to puff myself up with so much arrogance that I believe that I have somehow found the secret to life to which others are not privy. There are many different ways to life gloriously.
  17. I don’t want to ever grow up completely. Everyone has a bit of Peter Pan in them and I cherish that part of who I am. Being young at heart is wonderful.
  18. I won’t go to bed angry. I try to resolve conflicts as quickly as possible.
  19. I won’t forget to say my prayers each morning when I rise. They set a positive tone for the coming day.
  20. I’ll do my best never to hurt anyone either with my words or my actions.
  21. I’ll try not to forget kindnesses that people have showered on me. I do remember all of the times that individuals have offered a helping hand or an understanding shoulder on which to lean.
  22. I will never underestimate the sacrifices that my parents and grandparents and ancestors made for me. I am who I am because of them.
  23. I want to try not to dwell as much on the problems that challenge me as the blessings that seem to always come my way. It’s often too easy to get mired in the muck.
  24. I won’t forget that very little that is worthwhile comes easily. I will put forth the efforts I need to continually improve myself as a person.
  25. I will not worry as much as I always seem to do. After seventy two years I should surely know that things always have a way of working themselves out if I curb my control freak tendencies and just go with the flow. I need to keep reminding myself that it is always easier to list my hopes and dreams and optimism than to come up with a rendering of things that I want to avoid. That is the real wonder of life.