The Ride

By Suzanne Clark

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I emailed a friend the other day about meeting for lunch and said, “What do you want to eat?” A few minutes later I followed up with a second email and said, “Never mind, it is not about the food.”

Life shouldn’t be about the food or the place or the movie or the event. Now, don’t get me wrong I love a hot Krispy Kreme donut, Kerr Lake, and going to a good chick flick (with popcorn and a Coke). But it is no fun to do any of these things alone. Well, except the KK. I don’t need to share that experience with anyone. I am perfectly content to eat a half-dozen all alone.

We are in the middle of a unique season in our life. This year my husband has changed jobs, we are moving into a new house, my son has started a new school, my daughter has moved to an apartment and my husband lost his brother. And there are still four months left in the year.

Soon after Dewey was named president of N.C. Wesleyan College, a dear friend sent us both an email with three words …”Enjoy the ride.” I have thought about that simple, yet profound statement many times since then. If we aren’t careful, we will do everything but enjoy the ride. We will complain and whine and moan and dread “the ride,” but we will most certainly not enjoy it. Another good friend recently reminded me, “Instead of complaining about an experience, one should smile because one lived through it. We humans complain because it makes us about as close to martyrs as we will ever be.” (MTT) Those words have floated to the forefront of my mind many times when I was about to complain about something that in the whole scheme of things is irrelevant.

When Blakely and Nick were small, Dewey would cut his hand or stub his toe and tell them that he was going to enjoy the pain. They thought that was hilarious. Granted, that might be an extreme to enjoy pain but there is something to be said about making the most of whatever season you are in. Don’t wish for seasons to be over too soon … even the tough ones. A wise woman once said, “Life should be experienced so one can look back on it when there are fewer experiences and see the good, the fun, the meaning.” (MTT)

I believe there is a lot of truth in that statement. I can envision a time when there will not be as much to do. There will be a point when I’m not meeting myself coming and going. I hope I have collected a stack of experiences to reflect on. I will have time to sit and reminisce about all the fun, all the laughs, some tears too, all the times when I was ready to throw my hands in the air and proclaim, “Enough” or “No More” and realize that I have survived … and not just survived, but am better for going through the tough times. We tend to appreciate the good times a bit more after a difficult season. I’m not sure if you’re in a difficult season, just survived a difficult season or about to embark on that season. No matter where you are, pause, take a deep breath and enjoy the ride.

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