Dear

Dear: (adj) beloved or loved

Not feeling rushed.

The chill of confidence that occasionally soothes my fears.

Breathing deeply.

Watching from a distance and seeing something kind before my eyes.

A fine meal that was easy to fix and settled well in my belly.

A friend who tears up when they describe their love for me.

Me, when I likewise produce the tears.

Waking up with a sense of divine inspiration, not certain where it came from.

Thinking of someone who needed to be well-thought-of.

Discovering the last of something I fancy on the grocery shelf.

Allowing myself to rest in my accomplishment.

A joy that leaves me shaking with gratitude.

Late-night whispers from little children trying to fall asleep.

Cutting open a melon and finding it ripe.

Being remembered.

Knowing that something horrible has been forgiven.

Cool water splashed on my face.

The first bite of steak.

The last bite of steak.

Knowing that life is not one perpetual highway, but rather, a series of blessed stepping-stones that allow us to travel on without sinking into the mud.

These are things that are supernal, which I embrace and hold dear.

Dally

Dally: (v) to waste time; loiter; delay

I, for one, have grown weary of the judgmental attitude of the New Oxford Dictionary.

First of all, what’s so new about it? It acts like my grandma the first time she saw me in a turtleneck. Or for that matter, the first time Grandma saw me in anything that wasn’t popular in 1950.

Let us understand—I believe in the power of “dally.”

So much am I a supporter that I have linked my dilly with my dally to form a meaningful experience: dillydally.

Mr. Oxford, I am not wasting time. I am preserving it, lengthening it and treasuring it by sitting down and relaxing instead of hustling along, trying to prove I am some sort of “great worker.”

It certainly is not loitering, as you suggest. I am not perched on a park bench feeding the pigeons, sticking out my tin cup to receive donations from the innocent park-walkers.

Wasting time? Hardly. How is it wasting time to try to elongate moments by creating a slower pace of a more pleasurable style?

Truthfully, I do not see that people who rally produce more than those who dally.

And when you add a good dilly in on top of it—that being the desire to find something humorous along the way—you set yourself up in a lifestyle that is sparkling and tries to accentuate every breath, squeezing potential out of each second as it goes by.

I would dare to say that Thomas Edison, arguably the greatest inventor of all time, uncovered the light bulb in the midst of a dally. Exhausted over failures, he slowed down and decided to just experiment, and in so doing, found the correct filament to light up his life—and yours and mine as well.

I think there are many Presidents that did more during their dally time than they ever did campaigning, pushing, shoving and attacking.

So here’s to the dally.

May we always be in the pursuit of a simpler way to do things, a happier way of accomplishing them and a sense of utter relaxation while pursuing.

Ambition

dictionary with letter A

Ambition: (n) a strong desire to achieve something, typically requiring determination and hard work

Shakespeare was probably right. (I’m sure he’ll be glad to know.)

Ambition, as displayed in the character of Cassius, in Julius Caesar, does not usually lead to accomplishment, but more often than not, a dagger in the heart.

I think it’s wonderful to be ambitious, if you’re not trying to destroy other people or have your heart set on something that belongs to another human being.

That’s why I have learned, over the years, to be ambitious over things that most people have walked away from in either boredom or confusion.

It’s similar to going to the DMV. If you’re there to get a new driver’s license or get one renewed, forget about it–take a number. But if you’re there for a passport photo, you’ll be in and out in fifteen.

So if you’re ambitious about going to the DMV to get your driver’s license in fifteen minutes, you will not only end up dishing in line and aggravating everyone, but you will also end up screaming at the lady who’s trying to fill out your application, which will make her go slower.

Ambitious has two important components:

1. Make sure you go for something that is needed, but not presently being offered.

2. Don’t bitch at life when it challenges you, and questions whether you have the right to own such an honor … of being given the opportunity.

 

Adjunct

Words from Dic(tionary)

dictionary with letter A

Adjunct (n): a thing added to something else as a supplement rather than an essential part

I think it’s misspelled. It would be so much easier to understand if the word was “addjunk.”

Really, that’s what we all do. We add a bunch of junk to our lives as we journey, convincing ourselves that it’s priceless, only to spend most of our time shuffling it around from place to place, even though it is inconvenient and infrequently used.

About ten years ago I came to the realization that the only power in getting older was in being smart enough to travel lighter. I had so much unusable, often unrecognizable material hanging around me, like unwanted relatives stopping in for a loan, that I was often baffled as to whether there was enough space for me to live and breathe.

It was stupid. I had added so much junk to my human trailer that I was beginning to resemble white trash on my way to NASCAR. (This is not to say that ALL people who go to NASCAR are white trash. I speak by permission, putting into practice comedy, and quite bluntly, the law of averages.)

So what did I do? I started giving away everything I had not used in the previous sixty days. It was astounding–because things that I did not view as worthy of a two-month connection were valuable to others around me–sometimes even a life saver. I looked generous.

Now, I wasn’t really generous. It was a practical move to make sure there was enough oxygen in the room for me and my necessaries. In no time at all, I had grown lean and mean, and at my fingertips were all the goodies that I preferred, which by the way, were much easier to locate since they weren’t hiding under the freeloaders.

The second thing I did was I decided to live. Now I’m not talking about sucking in air or planning a shaving and bathing schedule.

If I wanted to do it, if it was practical, fruitful and in the spectrum of my abilities–I just did it.

Is there anything worse than people who are aging, who both lament getting older and also constantly offer regrets about their lack of accomplishment?

Shut up. It’s addjunk.

It seems that many people over fifty have only used their time and energy to practice becoming professional complainers. Here’s the key: give and live.

Give away everything you don’t need and live out what you want to do, and in the process find out if it was worth tackling.

I realize that to some degree this essay has nothing to do with the definition, but you can take that up with my boss.

(Ha, ha. I don’t HAVE a boss. I gave him away … so I could live.)