Reclining back in the dentist’s chair, I was killing time flipping through Time magazine since it was 9:05am and my appointment was supposed to be for 8:30am. There was an article on Michael J. Fox whom I admire and adore. The dental assistant sits down next to me. . .
“Oh! Michael J. Fox! He was so great.”
“Um . . . he’s not dead.”
“Oh, I know! But he was such a great actor in that one show. It’s a classic.”
“Yeah! Or Back to the Future. You know, back in the day.”
This is about the moment where my head implodes. How old is she?! Better yet, HOW OLD AM I!?
Verdict: Closer to 40 than I am to 30 which means things I grew up loving are now considered “classic” and in about 10-20 years what was cool in my day and age will be referred to as “retro.”
It didn’t help matters that the dental tech who brought me back to my chair looked like he was 12. I AM SERIOUS. Isn’t it against the law to employ child labor like that?
My dentist apparently loves to talk about golf. He chimed in on the Michael J. Fox conversation and was all, “I watched some of his special on TV. Just the part about golf- he was playing with Bill Murray.” He mentioned golf or things-related-to-golf 4 times during my appointment. I counted.
But let’s get back to the point- Michael J. Fox inspires me. He’s got a great outlook on life and is really using his life and the card he’s been dealt for good. I sometimes think I am an optimist but I’m probably more of an indirect optimist. I can’t just hear seemingly bad news and immediately jump to the bright side. I’m a planner and an organizer so first I have to sort the information through that filter and then I can get on board with being optimistic. It just takes a detour in my head but I get there eventually.
He said something on his TV special that resonated with me, “Do the next right thing.” Not the “next thing right” or “the next thing” but the NEXT RIGHT THING. Yeah, I can get behind that. Because everything we do, the decisions we make and the people we meet and the actions we take, they are all getting us somewhere. Instead of harping on how I should have done it differently or better, just DO THE NEXT RIGHT THING. Just keep moving forward. Just keep looking for the bright side.
I’m trying to shift my thinking. Feelings are not facts.* And though I might be wallowing in some heavy feelings lately, life is always changing. This is not permanent. Who knows what is around the bend? No one! So fuck it, I might as well enjoy the ride because this life is not a dress rehearsal.
The only thing I can control is my attitude which is in the process of getting a major overhaul.
“In truth, no amount of rearranging the world will make us feel worthy. The only response to adversity or misunderstanding is to be more completely who we are- to share ourselves more. Otherwise, we are always reacting and countering, and never being.” -Mark Nepo