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Buck Up, Little Camper

Scene from movie Better Off Dead

At the start of the movie Jumanji: The Next Level, Danny DeVito opines “Getting old sucks. Don’t ever let anyone tell you any different.” By the end of the movie, his character Grandpa Eddie has a new perspective:

Eddie : “Getting old is a gift. I forget that sometimes, but it is.”

It is a lesson I needed to relearn.

2020 has been brutal to a lot of us, in a lot of different ways. I’m generally, usually, at least I try to be the glass half full person. The harder it gets for those around me the easier it is for me to channel positive thoughts, optimism. Need another reason to hate me? I’m a morning person.

But talk is free and easy, especially when you aren’t the target of the hardship. The one experiencing it. Manufactured positivity can be as bad or worse than negativity.

Buck Up, Little Camper!”

Charles De Mar, “Better Off Dead”

2020 reminded me of something. When I am the one enduring the hardship, I don’t want Charles De Mar telling me how great things are. How great they will be.

I want someone to sit with me. Be still with me. Help me focus on what needs doing. Acknowledge the pain, the loss, the… difficulty.

The Suck.

Don’t tell to me. Ask of me. Give me the opportunity to say, and realize that, as I say it, I mean it.

Star Trek Captain Picard asking for a Damage Report

I’m going to steal from Babylon 5 season four’s ‘Endgame’: “Engineering, this is Link speaking. In case you didn’t notice, 2020 just pulled our shorts up over our head and tied them into a knot. You will get the ship under control ASAP, or I will come down there and skin the hide off every last one of you.”

I am tore up plenty. A lot of us are.

But we can still fly true.

Crewmates Zoë Alleyne Washburne and Mel from the TV series Firefly
“She’s tore up plenty, but she’ll fly true.” – Zoë Alleyne Washburne

The pandemic has kept many of us flying blind. Fog enfolded, whirlwind whipped. Every breath every touch filled with apprehension. No peace, but plenty of disquiet. Unease, fear, still more fear being streamed, broadcast, uploaded. Reinforced with every temperature check and cough from a stranger or, worse, from a loved one.

I have to believe that the dark clouds enfolding us will brighten. Almost without warning. We will emerge into calm crisp air, to clear blue sky and brilliant sun.

To endless possibilities.

Fly True.

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