The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Enid Features

April 29, 2014

Don't curb your enthusiasm

ENID, Okla. — Are you enthusiastic? Think about it.

There are people in this world who never get excited about anything. Then there are people who are enthusiastic about the least little thing. Somewhere, there should be a happy medium. If we are truly excited about an idea or whatever, it cannot help but show.

Every time we would go on a trip of any distance, whether near or far, we always came back excited about the things we saw and the things we did. No matter how tired we were or what obstacles we overcame, we still were excited and ready to talk about the trip. We always felt that we might never pass that way again, so we made the most of every outing.

As time goes on, we talk a lot about where we have been. With Jim’s health issues, it is becoming more and more difficult to enjoy long trips. Now they are more “outings,” but we love them just the same. Our longest journeys are to Pond Creek to Greazy Steve’s wonderful restaurant or to Pawnee to see relatives. Those short trips are delightful and get us all excited and enthusiastic to be out among happy people.

Our other regular outing that makes us warn and enthusiastic is our almost daily trips to Jim’s cardio/pulmonary rehab. One might think that would be a downer, but it is just the opposite. It is so much fun to visit with those happy people who are there trying to take control of their health and feel better. They are so positive and glad to be there where they are treated with such respect and help.

Some people can come up with the most inventive, inspirational ideas, yet they fail to “sell” them because they lack enthusiasm. To sell a car or a house or an idea, one has to have a “feel” for it. They must absolutely like the thing they are selling. They have to project themselves into the business of selling. Fervor is what they need.

I guess, because I know what it takes, I could not be a salesman if my life depended on it. I just don’t have it in me. Even if a buyer came to me, I would probably talk them out of whatever it was they wanted. BUT, I do get enthusiastic about writing. Any time I sit down at my computer to compose an article, I feel the same passion for writing that I felt in college. I love it.

And when I sort through recipes to see which one I will use this week, I get the excitement I did originally when I cooked it or tasted it at Grandma’s or Mother’s table and kitchen. I can feel my pulse quicken and my enthusiasm rise when I write or talk about recipes, cooking and writing.

My grandparents and parents worked hard, real hard, on the farm/ranch to make a living for their families. They could have just thought of it as so much drudgery and toil, but they went at work or daily chores with gusto and enthusiasm. They found enjoyment in discovering a new hen’s nest in the barn or a turkey nest under a bush. They celebrated the birth of a new baby calf or colt. They rejoiced at the first morel mushrooms Daddy found in the spring (I can still taste those wonderful mushrooms cooked in sour cream butter. Boy, were they scrumptious!)

It is easy to show enthusiasm when it is something we really enjoy or like to do. However, it is more difficult to work up enthusiasm when it is something we dislike. My sisters and I used to do housework when our parents had gone to town on Saturday to do the weekly shopping. As soon as our work was done, we got to play “beauty shop” or make fudge or bake something. It is surprising how quickly one can breeze through work when there is a bright light calling us at the end of the tunnel.  Having fun sure put enthusiasm into housework. I still do it that way. I reward myself after I have done a tedious job. I bake something or do something fun and exciting.

I think our family is rearing another generation of kids with enthusiasm. They do not have to be entertained all the time and they don’t always have to be playing video games to be happy. They love to play outside and help in the kitchen and read and write and just visit. They play with my old toys, which are well worn, or play in the yard with water from the garden hose and a plastic bowl over their heads and think it is fun and enjoyable. They have such fun doing what others might think is nothing. We could all take some lessons from little kids who play with such enthusiasm and interest and imagination.

I get excited about cooking, having friends over, yard work (not so much the work anymore, but the enjoyment of seeing the flowers and trees), feeding and watching the birds in our back yard, writing, traveling, reunions, and our relatives coming for a visit. Our lives have become simpler as we have aged, but we still have enthusiasm about life.

I ask Jim what I showed enthusiasm about and he said, “everything.” I guess he is right. I love life and am enthusiastic about everything I do. It has been a new experience for me to be a full-time care-giver for Jim, but I enjoy it and hope I am doing a good job.

 I cannot complain. I have enough to eat and clothes to wear, transportation to and from appointments, good friends, wonderful family, warmth in the winter, cool in the summer, living in America, and on and on. We should show more enthusiasm for the things we have and are.

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