Been to Center

The older I get the more I learn about life and the difference between what's really important and what to just let slide.

The lists are probably endless but as most of you have come to realize, such things as fishing, hunting, ATV'ing and hiking come pretty high on the priority list while soup suppers, social events, craft fairs and watching sports just has to take a backseat.

You may question my decision to prioritize my life in this manner but it didn't come without a lot of forethought and pain. Early in my life I had the obligations of raising a family. Couple that with my ex-wife's uncanny ability to start a remodel project right before hunting or fishing season and suddenly what I thought was important to me took a seat far up in the nose bleed section of the bleachers.

Having been released as CEO of that team, Ol' Dutch suddenly found himself cast adrift for the first time with no rudder to steer his ship. I crashed a few times on the shoals of life and barely escaped sinking a time or two but somehow I found my way to Colorado and things began to improve for me.

Finding Trixie was a definite plus to my situation as she was able to see the potential value of Ol' Dutch if she could just work out the dents and kinks. I guess she saw me like an old antique car. Once you fix them up they have some real value and then everyone wants it. Same with men, I guess. 

I have known a lot of men whose partners bring strife into their lives and all I can say about that is “Why?” Without some good guiding influence in our lives albeit a gently loving push or a rolling pin upside our heads, men tend to lose focus on the big picture and get sidetracked. You can see the men who are successfully navigating the graces of social circles and church functions are the result of some loving partner pointing the way to nirvana for him.

So when Trixie found Ol' Dutch drifting along in a state of lost confusion, she saw a golden opportunity to improve his lot in life. I am not sure why women take on a project man but I guess in retrospect, what other kind is there?

Now Ol' Dutch had been kicked around some over about a 30 year endurance test of a marriage and he was lacking in seeing the big picture. Just last week I was sitting in an aspen grove as the sun came up and I was reminded of that old saying, “You can't see the forest for the trees.” What that means is the trees are so much in the forefront of your view that you don't see that it actually makes up an entire forest. In life I guess it means, “Open your eyes, Dummy, life is pretty darned good overall.”

Trixie, living in California and all, has perfected the mantra that “life is good.” It took a while longer – and a lot of pain on her part – to convince Ol’ Dutch that life is indeed better than we think it is.

Now, though, I see it and most the time can even live like I see it. When I do get a bit excited sometimes and forget that no matter what is going on, life is still good, Trixie comes to my rescue and brings calm to chaos. She simply gets in my face and looks me in the eye and says “stay centered.”

For the longest time I thought she had lost some of her marbles. And, she looked at me with confusion as I would then just disappear in my truck for several hours. Ol' Dutch being hard of hearing thought she had said “go to Center” and away I would go on an adventure and return later smelling of Mexican food.

Who knew that what she really meant was for me to see the big picture and that my situation was not so bad and indeed blessed?

“Center” means different things for all people, but, this I know, if you are feeling overwhelmed start making a list of what you are grateful for and life will suddenly look a lot better. And, if you’ve got the time, take a run over to Center and eat some delicious Mexican food. That is always good for the soul.