We spent New Year’s eve with some friends this year. Probably sounds normal to most of you. However it had been a few years since we actually did anything exciting to bring in the New Year. Usually we stay at home and find it difficult to stay awake till midnight. However, not this year. Like I said, we spent the evening with friends. Learned a new card game. Interesting, to say the least. A game with no winners. Only losers. The long and short of it is you play the game and when you are not able to lay down a card you throw all your cards on the table and say “oh crap”. I still maintain that I won the game. Needless to say I was reminded frequently that there are no winners, just losers. Doesn’t do much for self-esteem. But, I suppose, perhaps I did not win but I also did not lose. Ah ha.
Playing the game I was reminded of some moments in my life when I get that “oh crap” feeling. You know how you feel when you reflect on a conversation. When you think back to something you did. When you start telling a joke and realize half way through that you have ruined it before you even get to the punch line. I showed my kids the Woof Woof blog from a few weeks ago. My daughter informed me the riddle I asked did not make sense. Took a look and sure enough, I had written it wrong. Yeah, that’s what I am talking about. You cringe. You feel embarrassed. You hope no one noticed. You hope no one heard you. You feel sheepish. And all you can do is mutter “oh crap”.
Perhaps this happens to some more than others. It has been somewhat bizarre lately. I had a flashback to something that happened thirty plus years ago. It is almost like your life flashing in front of your eyes. You hear of people who have had accidents or close calls talk about time standing still. I could never relate to that till two years ago when I almost collided with a snow plow. It is intriguing, to say the least, how it seems like time is standing still. In that moment you have time to examine all options to avoid the inevitable. You think about family. You wonder what will be said. All of that in a matter of two or three seconds. A crystal clear image that never leaves your mind.
Back to my flash backs. I told a friend about these flashbacks that I was having. I was wondering whether I was losing my mind. It felt strange. Found out that others experience the same thing. Made me feel better. Normal. At least I think. Perhaps my friend is not normal either. But then again, what is normal? I have been told that normal is only a setting on a dryer. Certainly not anything that defines your life. Okay, I am going with what I got. Flashbacks be d***ed.
Rumi, a 13th century Persian poet, wrote an interesting poem called The Guest House. He refers to “this being human is a guest house”. Interesting. Based on the poem I would suggest that my flashbacks could be referred to as a momentary awareness. Has a much nicer ring to it. The poem goes on to explain how this momentary awareness is an unexpected visitor. A visitor we should “welcome and entertain”. Whether it’s a “dark thought, shame, the malice”. Perhaps “a joy, a depression or meanness”. We should welcome them all as “each has been sent as a guide from beyond”. What a perspective. To embrace the thoughts and feelings we have. To use these thoughts and feelings as a guide. In some way make us better. Improve our lives. Make it a good one.