Going, Going, GONE!
Written by Stephanie Renee on November 22, 2015
Friends, there are a few simple guidelines that positively affect my life, unwaveringly. I will always be a champion for pluralist principles that encourage people to worship and love as they please. I think life is too short for bad food or cheap, skunky spirits. Music should be playing in a constant feel-good or good-cry rotation. And no less than twice a year, I need to break my earthbound status and sail through the skies to new scenery and perspective.
I had a variation of this conversation with my father a few weeks before he made transition. We were hanging out in his bedroom, catching up, as he grumbled about how my stepmother was infringing upon his space and personal preferences while trying to be a decent caregiver. Of course, illness and advancing years didn’t give my father the mobility or stamina that he once enjoyed. But my questions were all about how he was making time for the things that brought him joy. What’s the point of having a big home stereo and plenty of records if you don’t take time to play them? Going out and playing 18 holes at his favorite golf course wasn’t an option, but practicing his putting with his electronic gadget certainly was. The organ he bought to plunk out notes for his church solos? Downstairs collecting dust. That great double-level deck on the back of his house? When was the last time he’d had his morning coffee or a meal out there and enjoyed the view and the quiet? We humans. We spend endless hours and dollars surrounding ourselves with the trappings of our success, but seldom make the time to actually enjoy them. And, as we enter the holiday season, I recognize the need to practice all that I preached that day.
Deadlines can be a great motivator. I’d purchased a vacation package from Club Wyndham last year that was set to expire this December 31st, so I finally sat still long enough to book my airline tickets and block out the time on my calendar. I am trying to be more philanthropic these days, use my influence and talents to prompt deeper investment in the things I love. And I’ve got to remember that I deserve equal consideration. All the clothes I never wear. The moments I don’t use just being still and resting up. And the places all across this earth that are on my Must See list. They’ll never get crossed off if I don’t make a plan to get there.
So, please don’t be alarmed if you hear more instances of me being out, away and unavailable in the coming year. I love being on the air, speaking to and with you, about all kinds of important topics. But I love me too, and my spirit longs to be in the air, to stand in witness of the wonder of natural beauty present across the far reaches of the earth. I’m back to that mission in earnest now. No regrets. Just accumulating miles, points and amenities, baby. Up, up and away!