Learning to order my life around versatility and care
This essay is the one that had me most emotionally tuned in to your writing. While I've often wondered how your combination of youth and wisdom appears, this speaks to the background.
Thank you for your honesty.
It has me thinking about many things. Recently, my 29 year old daughter went travelling to Thailand and Vietnam. Prior to booking, she asked me for some ideas about planning (or 'packing') for the trip. I'm happy to say, I was able to suggest a couple of ideas that easily integrated into her trip. She played them out, and reported success. (examples: fly from the Gold Coast in Queensland, rather than Sydney. There will still be daily flights to Singapore, but less crazy busy... and she could visit her mum and her brother's kids before flying. Add to that, on return, book a hotel room in Singapore's Changi airport. Here you can relax, rest, eat and sleep before you take the next 10 hour flight back to Australia).
You're essay grounded me in how important this recent interaction with Carina (my daughter) was.
... and, one more observation. As a Plastic Paddy (one who over-identifies with their Irish heritage), I noted your Murphy's Law comments. My Dad (who passed away 10 years ago) worked with something her called Reverse Murphy's Law... as a farmer, this played out as "Plant a crop (soy beans) that needs moderate rainfall next to sugar cane, that needs heavy rainfall. Murphy won't know what to do."
I've come to label this idea as "Snookering Murphy".
Thank you for your beautifully expressive story of love and loss and further growth. Rarely would I ask substack to have a "Hug Emoji", but I'm pressing it right now.
THIS is probably one of your best pieces ever...so heartfelt, practical, and just beautiful. Love it!!!
It's interesting how many lessons can be drawn from the simple act of packing a suitcase. As someone who deals with multiple chronic and semi-chronic illnesses, I agree that an organized life makes things much easier in the future. Having a plan B also helps, and (as a Christian) I always remind myself that when adversity strikes, it's an opportunity given from Above to choose the right course of action and to develop character and virtues.
Excellent piece as always. Thanks for sharing:)
Beautiful piece. Deeply grateful.
My dad passed away when I was 19 so this deeply resonated. There's something about losing a parent at a young age that forces you to closely examine the constant change and shortness of life. For a while, I felt like I was living life too urgently compared to my peers, but felt comforted when I read this in Not Fade Away: "Looking back, it's clear to me that my father's death was one of the most pivotal events of my own life - maybe the most pivotal. It was my father's early passing that persuaded me to live as if my life was an extended two-minute drill with no time-outs, to cram a full spans' worth of living into fifth years or less."