Spots of Sunshine 10/5/22

Thoughts with Richard Bleil

Life isn’t all sunshine and roses. At least not mine. Even happy people will settle into routine, a level of comfort like a slightly overcast cool day. We get up, go to our job, come home and spend the evening with the family. And there’s nothing wrong with this (I actually wish I had a family to spend my evenings with, but, alas, it was not meant to be). Some of my favorite days are just comfortable, little breeze, without the sun in my eyes.

My life has seemed to lose direction. Without teaching, I’ve lost my career, and for far too long I’ve lacked structure in my week. Fortunately, I found a job with great people, and although it’s part-time temporary, it gets me moving and out of the house. Sadly, that job will be ending soon. Maybe it’s time to find something more permanent.

But every once in a while, there’s a spot of sunshine in my routine that bursts through the clouds. My friend contacted me today to ask if I wanted to go on a photo shoot tomorrow. She’s a very important friend to me and I really don’t get to see her as often as I would like. It will be fun to get out and get some practice with my cameras and spend a little time with my friend. It will be a spot of sunshine in my otherwise drab life.

This week, my spice racks arrived. They’re magnetic, so its easy to attach them to the side of the refrigerator which, in my house, is right next to my stove. I ordered eight of them, which is fortunate. They come in packs of four, and I didn’t think they would be enough. As it turns out, eight of them are enough, but just barely.

These little bursts of sunshine are like the spice in a meal. Sometimes a nice bland meal is fine, but it’s the spice that really makes it delicious. I like to experiment with spices in stir-fry. I could never repeat a recipe because I start with a basic Chinese stir-fry sauce, then add spices based on smell. Some spices just seem like they would fit together, and stir-fry is a great way to learn about spices. I’ve had some meals that were over-spiced, and some that were just incredibly delicious, but I’ll never have them again. And that’s okay. Tomorrow, I will be taking pictures with my friend, a day that I will no doubt enjoy thoroughly, and one that will never come again. It’s a sunburst that will last for a day, then fade into memory, and that’s okay.

If I were with my friend every day, and, for example, took photos for a living, it would settle into a routine. It’s the uniqueness of the day that will make it so special. Maybe, in time, I’ll put together a photo album for my social media page for all of my friends to see, and maybe they’ll think that it’s my everyday life.

We have a habit of posting these sunshine moments, and assuming that it’s how our friends’ lives are every day, which makes out days seem drab in comparison. But if our days were always filled with these moments, we could never really appreciate those rare days that are so very special. Yes, we are responsible as directors of our own lives, but it’s frankly exhausting to try to make every day an adventure. We all need downtime, and probably more than we realize.

A good friend of mine is having trouble with her relationship. If you look on her social media page, you would never know. It looks like her life is magical every day. I kind of wonder if they just need a vacation. I don’t mean to end their relationship, but perhaps just a little time apart would help.

They seem to be in need a few of those drab but comfortable days, at least that’s how it appears to me. Just a little time apart to recharge their individual batteries. Maybe they’ll find they are better off alone, but I honestly expect that, if neither one does anything to sabotage their relationship, they’ll be much better off when they get back together. No matter how deeply in love you might be, every relationship can become routine. Those sunbursts fade, and as comfortable as the relationship might feel, sometimes it helps just to do something to remind each partner that they miss the other when they’re apart. Or maybe I’m wrong. All I know is that I get to see my friend today, so it’s sunshine for me.

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