Back in my old days publishing small town newspapers, a friend once came to town to visit, and accompanied me on my daily rounds. My first stop of the day was the local bakery, where I got my requisite two glazed donuts and a cold milk to wash it down with. When I walked up to the counter to pay, the shop’s owner waved me away and said “This one’s on me, Nick.”
My next stop was the barbershop, where I shot the bull with the barber, as he trimmed what few hairs I had left. We were good buddies, and when he was finished and I reached for my wallet, he too waved me off and said “I’ll catch you next time.”
After calling on a few customers, we stopped for lunch and ran into the Chief of Police, who invited us to sit with him, then picked up the tab. As we left the restaurant, I commented to my friend that “I don’t make a lot of money, but as you can see, I don’t need a lot of money!”
I felt that way at our rally last week. Folks were so generous with their time, volunteering to help us make the rally a success, and even giving me all sorts of neat stuff. At our rally in Ohio, Dan Foshee donated some of his beautiful drawings as door prizes. I have always wished I had that kind of talent, and told Dan so.
At last week’s rally, besides donating even more of his artwork as door prizes, Dan brought me a really neat book titled Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain, that he assures me will help me discover that artist deep inside me.
Dan said I’ll be amazed at what I can do, and besides the book, he even brought me a sketch book, and a charcoal and graphite drawing kit with pencils and other supplies. Thanks, Dan! I know I’ll never measure up to you, but I’ll sure give it a try. I loved the quote from artist Julia Cameron that Dan included with a note he wrote inside the book: “Art is like sex; even the poorest effort can be quite satisfying!”
I wasn’t the only one to get a gift! Bad Nick got one too! Sue Didelot made a custom hat for my alter ego, that troublesome little imp who inhabits the deep recesses of my subconscious and sometimes writes checks with his mouth that my butt can’t cash. Sue even included a beard on the little devil she drew on the hat! Like I told that friend of mine so long ago, I don’t make a lot of money, but then again, I don’t need a lot of money.
I think too many people forget how to keep things in perspective. Life isn’t about who has the newest and the biggest toys. It’s not about money. It’s about enjoying every day to the fullest. About sharing laughs with friends. About being with the people you love. About making deposits to your bank of memories.
I’ve told people many times that being in the Army as a kid was one of the best things that ever happened to me, because I learned at an early age what really matters. If I didn’t sleep in the mud last night, and I woke up this morning and nobody shot at me, it’s a pretty good day.
Miss Terry didn’t really understand that until her terrible battle with cancer eight years ago. Now when we have some annoying little problem that she begins to fret over, I remind her that she doesn’t have to go in for radiation or chemo today, and that makes whatever challenges we face seem pretty darned trivial.
No, I may not have much money, but with the friends I have, and the people who love me, I’m the richest man you’ll ever meet.
Thought For The Day – Fanaticism is overcompensation for doubt.