I don’t remember where I saw this quote for the first time, but I instantly liked it: “Live your life like someone left the gate open.” I guess there are multiple interpretations of this sentence, however, my view of it is that, as David’s late mother used to say, we should try to “have fun” in everything we do. If we are doing a simple chore, we can try to make it more bearable by viewing it as something in which other people would do anything to be able to participate. For example, think about the bright side of the activity instead of focusing on the negatives. David and I were waiting for a simple hot dog lunch to be brought to an outdoor picnic table that is located on a busy, dusty street in Fort Lauderdale when he asked me if I was having fun. I said, “Not right now, but I will be as soon as my hot dog arrives.” Sure enough, as soon as my tasty hot dog was placed on the table, I acted as if someone left the gate open, with my hot dog ready to be devoured before someone remembered to close and lock the gate. It’s all a matter of perspective. I have had several friends and family members who relied on wheelchairs when they went places. Instead of bemoaning the fact that I had to lift the heavy (for me) wheelchair in and out of my car, then push my family member or friend anyplace we wanted to go, I always decided to act like someone left the gate open, by laughingly telling other people to move out of our way because “we’re coming through” or even more fun, making a beeping noise like the noise of the courtesy carts that transport disabled people in the Atlanta airport. (Yes, these tactics not only clear traffic, they often make other people laugh too!) The point of this post is to have as much fun as possible, even when going about routine business or in situations many people would find tiresome. I’m always searching for the next open gate!
For reasons I won’t go into, the timing of my reading of Melissa’s post was, well, timely. We sometimes have to remind ourselves, and each other, to have fun, find fun where we can, and to leave that gate open to get out and enjoy what there is to enjoy in life. It might be hot dogs – whether in a dusty lot in Ft. Lauderdale (Hot Diggity Dogs on Griffin Road if you are interested – they have lots of varieties) or, as we are to be doing soon, traveling on vacation. As many of you know, RUSH songs are a big part of my mindset and lyrics to Prime Mover are always on my mind when traveling. “…the point of the journey is not to arrive.” Traveling is always a hassle, but the point of the journey is to appreciate everything along the way, the experience, to think and observe (and in my case, photograph) things beyond the airport, hotels, and rental cars. Use the tools available, wheelchairs if you need them, or canes/walking sticks, but go, do, enjoy. It is sometimes difficult to remember to find fun, or be positive, when doing chores, like yard work. But even there, the end result, the beautification of the backyard, for example, is a reward, something beyond the gate of the pains of yard work. Enjoy the journey of life, wherever it takes you.