Graceful Exits

            “There’s a trick to the ‘graceful exit.’  It begins with the vision to recognize when a job, a life stage, or a relationship is over—and let it go.  It means leaving what’s over without denying its validity or its past importance to our lives.  It involves a sense of future, a belief that every exit line is an entry, that we are moving up rather than out.”  So wrote Ellen Goodman, American journalist and syndicated columnist.

            Letting go, exiting gracefully, seems to be a challenge I have never quite mastered, a skill set never fully developed.  I mourn.  I agonize.  I dither.  My mother was fond of saying “Once you’ve made a decision, murder the alternative.” I’m sure she had watched me mourn/agonize/dither enough times just trying to get to a decision, that she was encouraging me to put an end to it. 

            Probably another ‘trick’ to the graceful exit is to recognize what purpose it serves to hang on. When I look at my own process, I see that it gives me the sense of having two (or perhaps more) desired things at once.  Sadly, it deprives me of truly having either (or any).  Case in point:  each year as we are aging, living on our property becomes a little more difficult.  We talk about selling.  We talk about where we might move.  We do very little towards either.  But as long as we remain in place, we have the benefit of being here and the dream of being somewhere else.  However, that means I spend a lot of time not being in the present moment, disrupting the pleasure of living where we are, of truly being present to where I am in this moment of time.

             So my goal today is to pay attention to my life as it is right now, in this place where I am right now.  And when the time comes to move on, may I exit gracefully.

May we be bearers of hope, the “wait staff” of Hope’s Café for each other and all those we encounter. Shalom, Kate

Hope’s Café Bonus:  A #MondayMoment quote is “Today I will live in the moment…..unless the moment is unpleasant, in which case I will eat a cookie.”  Doesn’t hurt to keep a sense of humor as you practice living in the present moment!  A cookie won’t “fix” anything really.  But should you “need” a cookie and want a new cookie recipe to try, I suggest one I adapted: 

Oatmeal Chip Cookies ¾ c. butter or margarine; 1 c. brown sugar packed firm; ½ white sugar; 1 egg; ¼ c. water; ¼ c. molasses; 1 tsp. vanilla; 2 c. oatmeal; 2 c. flour; 1 t. soda; 1 t. salt; ½ c. chocolate chips; ½ c. butterscotch (or peanut butter) chips; Beat together shortening, sugars, egg, water, molasses and vanilla.  Add remaining ingredients. Drop by rounded tsp. onto greased baking sheet.  Bake 10-12 min. at 350 degrees.    Bon appetit!