Even though much of my work is literally TOO BIG FOR WORDS, occasionally I am inspired to write, and this is the place for that. Feel free to join in the conversation. Thanks for reading.
Chicago entertainment genius Harold Allen Ramis died this week. Don’t recognize the name? He’s best-known for creating the so-called “smart-dumb comedy,” the best of which is Groundhog Day. He also directed, wrote or acted in other greats like Ghostbusters, Stripes, Caddyshack, National Lampoon's Vacation, and Analyze This. Ramis was at Second City with comedic greats like Belushi, Murray, Aykroyd and Radner. Imagine how much fun those days were!
I’ve been feeling like Phil in Groundhog Day - the weatherman who finds himself living the same day over and over again: “I'll give you a winter prediction: It's gonna be cold, it's gonna be grey, and it's gonna last you for the rest of your life. There is no way that this winter is ever going to end.”
In my town, it sure doesn’t look like there is an end in site. Christmas decorations are up despite the calendar saying March 1st! If the weathermen are correct, another 6 inches of snow are on their way. How will we ever break this cycle: extreme cold, excessive snow and grey skies? Surviving the third worst Chicago winter is no piece of cake, even for the sunniest among us.
I wonder if this winter feels even longer to us in the Lucci household because we are also waiting for college letters. For the first time ever, my daughter does not see her next step on the horizon and she cycles among feeling afraid, anxious, angry, and annoyed as she waits for an answer to where she will spend the next four years of her life. We do not hold liminal space well in our fast-food culture, do we? The word “waiting” implies impatience as we remain ready for some purpose. The word’s origin “to observe, to be watchful” reminds me of our Circle practice of mindfulness. How do we stay present and patient until our purpose appears?
Last night, I decided to create my own weather and invited the sunshine in. My fabulous, fun friends came out of hibernation to “wine about winter,” which involved far more wine than whining. My personal chef, Angie, made delicious delicacies. We had so much fun. (My trio of teens even dropped their tech to see the source of so much ruckus!) And now I see green in the forecast. Here comes Fat Tuesday, followed by St. Patty’s Day and then Spring Break. Before you know it, I’ll be planting tomatoes. In the meantime, I’ll practice mindfully waiting, grateful for the transformative power of play.
“We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.” C. Wyatt Runyon