The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Enid Features

May 28, 2013

Who we are, who we want to be

Are you the person you want to be? Think about it.

Very quickly, we think we want to be rich and famous. But do we really? Are we ready to accept the headaches that come with keeping up with an enormous bank account and accountants? Are we ready to give up our privacy and time with family for being famous? Do we really want to have cameras following us around all the time and appearing in some gossip magazine? Well if not, maybe we should reconsider what we really want to be.

Most all of us would settle for much less and be happy just being well-liked, slim or buff, beautiful, talented, calm and in control of our lives, industrious, secure, organized and healthy.

Let’s consider the first item: being well-liked. We cannot all be all things to all people. That would be like a dog chasing his tail — we would never get anywhere. It is better to strive to be the person we want to be for ourselves, and then others will most likely accept us just as we are. We need a good self-image and good self-esteem to even like ourselves. Like the song in “Oklahoma,” we are not better than anybody else, but we are just as good!

We hardly talk to anyone nowadays who doesn’t want to be slimmer or more fit. People who have an incurable disease or digestive problems would give a bundle to have strength of body. Maybe, just being slim for the sake of slimness and fashion is not all it is cracked up to be.

We all think that being beautiful is the answer to our problems. Everyone is beautiful to someone. As our mothers told us, it is more important to have inner beauty that does not fade with time, and seems to improve with age. A smile makes every face beautiful.

I do not know a single person in the world who doesn’t have some kind of talent. That does not mean we have to play the piano or sing, but we can all do something. For those who cannot talk, they can be a good listener. For those who are not leaders, they can be good followers. It is always difficult to get enough worker bees, but there are many who think they are the queen. We all have been given a special gift or talent to use in our own special way. Those differences makes each of us unique.

Who doesn’t want to be calm and in control of our own feelings and emotions? We don’t want to be a worrier. It takes work on our part to not stew — but do! Planning ahead is part of the key to calmness and tranquility. Just cool it!

I was raised in a family of industrious people. They were not idle or lazy. They had a work ethic that wouldn’t stop. I hope that rubbed off on me. I admire industrious people and those who get things done. They see things to do and do them without being told.

Somehow, we all seem to think that if we had a little bit more money, that the whole world would be rosy. It is not money we need — it is better planning and budgeting. We need to learn to live within our means and not try to keep up with other people, but to enjoy what we have. I truly think that some people have been brainwashed by advertising to think they need something, when it is merely a want. We older people were raised in an era to be content and enjoy the things we have.

Organization is so important to accomplish anything we set out to do. First, one has to have a plan and then a schedule to carry it out. Sometimes, I am surprised at people who start out to do a job and have no earthly idea how to go about it. They don’t look before they leap! Maybe that is why so many people start projects they never finish. They have no plan.

The older I get, the more I think things through. It seems to me our health is one of the most important things about us. If we don’t have a healthy body, then it is difficult to enjoy the other things in life we have. When I was a kid, I never dreamed the day would come when what we do would depend on how we feel. I just assumed I would live forever and be able to have energy and strength to do everything anytime. Surprise! Time takes its toll.

This is a different era than I grew up in, when no one ever locked their doors or carried their car keys with them. We could go off and leave anything and when we came back to it — nothing had changed. Sadly, those days are over. Now one has to lock their doors even during the day. No one is truly safe in any situation. Back in my day, kids could play out until way after dark with no fear of harm. Now they are hardly safe during the daylight hours. Older people who once were protected are now victims of theft, rape, and fright. Sometimes I think being safe and secure are the best feelings we can have. I would much rather be safe than rich, or beautiful, or talented, or anything. Wouldn’t you?

The last thing on the list is that we want to be remembered for our accomplishments. Just look at children from a happy home. Is not that some kind of great accomplishment for those parents? We don’t have to be great artists, or authors, or well-known entertainers to leave our world a better place. It is not that we do big things, but that we do little things in a great way to leave a legacy to others.

My grandparents were content with who they were and their accomplishments in life. They did all they set out to do and were fulfilled. Their positive philosophy was passed on to my parents and then to the next generations. They were content with simple things. So am I.

One cannot beat the simplicity of this salad, but it is sooooooooo good.

Grape/Pineapple/Cheese Salad

1 pound seedless green grapes, halved

1⁄2 cup chopped pecans

2⁄3 cup shredded cheddar cheese

1 (15-ounce) can pineapple tidbits, well drained

1⁄2 cup mayonnaise

Combine all the ingredients and serve.

Send your comments to: Peggy Goodrich, Food For Thought, P.O. Box 1192, Enid, OK 73702.

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