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The Day After ...


It's the day after Labor Day ... normally a back-to-school day for us but our district thought it prudent to start our kids in August.

The day after Labor Day is also generally my self-imposed green flag day to begin bringing in the fall decor for our home. Pumpkins ... I try to restrain myself until at least mid-September ... I'm not always successful.

This year, something is different. I actually questioned myself. It's alarming, actually. I never question my enthusiasm for the next season, my ability to leap frog into the next holiday, even months prior to its actual celebration.

Is it age ... wisdom ... or finally a little seed of patience? That would be most unlike me but perhaps, to the delight of my family, I am at least contemplating its value.

Patience is defined at, "Capacity for waiting: the ability to endure waiting, delay, or provocation without becoming annoyed or upset, or to persevere calmly when faced with difficulties."

Well ... I'm intrigued by the words, "persevere calmly," which makes me immediately think of its opposite; to react ... excitedly, without self control or discipline. Um, now there is something that I can relate to.

Patience is perhaps the absence of impulsivity. I've read that in order to acquire patience, one must practice patience. Practice is yet another one of my development opportunities. And when you put it all together, it seems almost impossible. Yet I'm cheered because I've yet to race out to our seasonal storage and drag to the garage door all the tubs marked "fall" ... today ... in the rain.

The word "impulsive" has quite a tainted reputation. But the more I think about the stern reprimands of impulsivity; all I can think of is what the world would be like if there wasn't any. Some of my greatest joys have come from impulsivity and perhaps some regrets along the way as well. But if you stack them, one against the other ... my joys do indeed outweigh, outshine, and overtake my regrets.

Remember that once popular phrase which extolled the virtue of practicing randoms acts of kindness? There is even a non-profit foundation where you can contribute tax free to that endeavor. Random acts are spontaneous acts ... and spontaneous acts by their very nature are ... impulsive.

How many times have you impulsively given to a family struggling in crisis, given to an organization sponsoring a televised appeal, ran to help an elderly or disable person cross a busy intersection, volunteer time that you honestly didn't have to give to a worthy cause? I hope you can think of many, many instances. Because when it comes right down to it ... isn't that what life is all about?

When I think about how I want to remember my life ... I believe it will be that I followed those impulses to give, to create, to extend, to embellish ... to live.

Patience most definitely has its own virtue and some of the greatest moments of my life were celebrated following a period of patience. A wedding and childbirth come immediately to mind.

But for me ... daily living also includes a little impulsive behavior as well. So tomorrow ... out comes my gold and red leaves, my fall garlands and arrangements ... and yes, I think even the pumpkins will make their 2010 debut.

Thanks for reading.

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