To Dance with Time Instead of Fighting it

Rock and roll poet Steve Miller introduced us to, among several things, the idea that “time keeps on slipping, slipping, slipping into the future.” Thank you, Steve.

And as it slips and we mortals tend to engage daily in hand-to-hand combat with it trying to fend off the way that it waves its wand to weather and wither us. But perhaps the goal is not to be so 1880s American West about it, engaging in a jaw-jutting defiance but instead to dance with it, working with it and and to embrace it and ourselves as we live within it fully, wildly, madly and whole-heartedly.

I thought about this today as I received a series of picture texts from my beloved brother-in-law Ricky Mendez earlier today. Ricky is a human being who embodies some of the best descriptive phrases I use for my most delicious listings – he is singular and iconic, has great curb appeal, is solidly built and he also has a flowing floor plan with a gourmet kitchen.

He is, though, quite succinctly, one of the nicest and most personable people I have ever met. And the devotion he expresses in being a person who embodies these classic and outstanding qualities is reflected by the droves of people who hold him high regard and love him without reservation. People like me, like Nicole and like our boys. But it’s not that we reward Rick for his amazing grace and kindness, it is instead that being around him makes us roll like Jack Nicholson in “As Good as it Gets” when he croaks “you make me want to be a better man.”

Thank God for people that exhort us to our best and fuller selves, who trigger us to be kind, be gracious, be accepting and be beautifully human with all of our imperfections. Who accept and love us and in turn warmly embrace the love we have for them.

But sometimes life isn’t imperfect. Like when we we had the great fortune to join Rick and Sarah for their storybook wedding in October in Tuscany. It was this remarkable week-long event that spawned the photos that Rick shared earlier today and made me think that life and time have the opportunity to be a gracious dance in which I can (and often do) engage in a full-throated “yes”!

And life and time, constantly spinning around me, can be something that I can (and should) cooperate with to be the best person I can be to make life and time something that ranges from manageable to downright hysterical for those around me, whether as close as my family or as distant as strangers on the street. Cue the Nike commercial and “just do it.”

I had the same type of pentecostal response a week or so back when we saw “Hamilton.” And a month earlier when the Cubs won. And while I am grateful for these single state inspirations that exhilarated me and made my soul ebullient, the fact is I don’t need these occasional 220 volt jolts to do the next right thing. I can (and often do) do what’s right simply because of enlightened self-interest.

And in truth my amazing family of Nicole, Jackson and Lucas are around and about me on a daily basis allowing me to savor the great taste of being that better man to which I refer.

And great memories don’t hurt the cause, thinking back to the amazing party we had at Ricky and Sarah’s gorgeous Tuscan wedding… Memories and thoughts of getting together in about a week or so at some great Tex-Mex place in Dallas or via text messages out of the blue on a Friday before Christmas. Gracious reminders. Welcome reminders.

Cue Leonard Cohen’s “Alleluia.” And fade to black.

 

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