The Secret of Life


Anne Lamott has a different take, saying in her book Plan B, that "One secret of life is that the reason life works at all is that not everyone in your tribe is nuts on the same day." 

This is one of the Anne Lamott quotes in consideration for the quote wall in our living room. The reason I like it is that it gives me permission to be nuts myself on some days, and it reminds me to give grace on the days when somehow it seems I've got it together and someone else doesn't. We get to have each others' backs.

In Grace Eventually, Anne Lamott said, "If you have a body, you are entitled to the full range of feelings. It comes with the package." 

That would be good to remember on the days when I'm unmotivated, undone, or simply bored. My kids get permission to be in those states as well. We get to feel our feelings and learn how to ride them out. We tell each other it's okay to feel mad or sad and that no one is going anywhere. 

In doing so, we want our kids to feel the way Anne's son Sam felt as a kid:


Or if that doesn't stick, how about this? 

When people ask me how I am these days, I say, “Better than I think,” because it’s good to notice that my life is pretty great, even if my mind isn’t.
— Anne Lamott, Imperfect Birds

I realize that this post is an ode to Annie if not much else. I also realize that reframing a situation is more helpful than one might think. It is like we are sleuthing through life, looking for ways to appreciate all that we are given. Today we get cold but sunny weather, and tomorrow a full moon. Let's hope we don't get the flu, and be grateful that spring will soon show up. We'll get tired by day's end and then we'll get to read in bed. We may or may not get to sleep through the night, but that's okay because another day is given to us, and we will get to try our hand at life again.

We will get to read the comics at breakfast, and say our morning liturgy, and kiss the kids for school (or keep them home for school), and practice patience, and plan dinner, and pick up the house, and be as ordinary as they come. That's the secret of life, according to me.