Roll with the punches, my Dad always said. We would laugh. Dad’s always say funny stuff over and over and over again. Now I begin to understand my Dad was saying it to himself, as much as to us. Remember that life punches you down, and punches you again and continues to punch away. You can be knocked down and never get up …or you can remind yourself to roll with the punches. What else is there?
I think it is easier to get up again and again if you have a support system and good balance in your life. In today’s world of far flung family and hectic lifestyles; far too many hours of networked work life and not enough real face time; I find myself with not much daily support and little to balance work going badly.
Since 2008, I have tried very hard to sustain myself with the written word in many forms. Books, books and more books offer comfort and hope and inspiration. I am not alone when I am with books. Poetry speaks in the absence of loved ones – to bolster, to commiserate, to decode in the face of life’s punches. But, it is when I put pen to paper literally and write a letter or card to a friend that I am most comforted.
Books and words are life’s necessity, I learned this from my Mom; acts of kindness and generosity, my father taught me, this will sustain my soul. Watch out, you may be getting something in the mail from me soon!
This week’s book: Cascade by Maryanne O’Hara
This week’s column: Joel Stein,I Will Now Answer All Your E-Mail
This week’s poem: A Psalm of Life by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Let us, then, be up and doing,
With a heart for any fate ;
Still achieving, still pursuing,
Learn to labor and to wait.
“The above poem was first published in the Knickerbocker Magazine in October 1838. It also appeared in Longfellow’s first published collection Voices in the Night. It can be found, for example, in: Longfellow, Henry Wadsworth. The Complete Poetical Works of Longfellow. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1893.”