An old friend of mine used to love watching the classics on television, shows like All in the Family, the Mary Tyler Moore Show and I Love Lucy.
There was one episode of Lucy in particular that we both remembered quite fondly.
Lucy and Ethel were working in a candy factory and had been given the task of wrapping all of the chocolates that come down the assembly line.
Before starting, the woman in charge said to them, “If one piece of candy gets past you and into that packing room unwrapped, you’re fired.”
As the line begins to speed up, we soon see the two women frantically (and hilariously) stuffing chocolates down their uniform, under their hats and in their mouths with Lucy shouting to Ethel, “I think we’re fighting a losing game!”
I sometimes wonder if writers of those shows were soothsayers or maybe just wiser than we gave them credit for, because today I think most of us are living that scene with that same sense of frantic hopelessness.
There is just too much coming down the line these days yet we all seem to be trying to grab it all anyway, with many of us dropping more than we’re catching.
I said goodbye to my old friend this week, a relationship that had lasted over thirty years. His passing forced me to slow down and take stock of my life and where it was going.
While being with loved ones and reconnecting our hearts and souls, I suddenly realized that the assembly line I was chasing was still moving and I didn’t care.
I could clearly see in that moment that I don’t want all of the candies I’ve been told to wrap in my life and it felt good to say it. The love I was sharing with the people I care for made the rest of those candies in life seem like just that; candy.
Nice to have but not sustaining, and too much of it doesn’t’ really make me any happier. In fact, it can actually make me sick.
Lucille Ball once said: “It’s a helluva start, being able to recognize what makes you happy.”
Maybe I’m just getting old and sentimental but my friend’s death, although tragic and sad, was also a blessing as it gave me an opportunity to redefine what truly makes me happy.
Sure, a new big screen TV or a few other toys would make my life a little more enjoyable at times, but as I recall the memories that we shared, very few of them, if any, involved the acquisition of more stuff.
Whether we owned a car or rented one, it was the time we spent together and the connection we felt while in that car that really mattered.
So I invite you to begin asking yourself what makes you happy in your life, chasing after a handful of candies or creating a heart full of moments with the people you love?
Maybe a delicate balance of the two is the ultimate goal, but if I could only have one, I’ll take the latter.
RIP, my friend, and thank you for a heart full of golden memories.
What are your thoughts? (comments below)