Thursday, May 11, 2006

Top of the World, Dad

The funny thing about being a person is that items at-hand are frequently of utmost importance.

We've been away from Mamelodi, South Africa for a couple of weeks now. As amazing (and easy) as it was to acclimate to things there - no grass, lots of trash, fires burning (seemingly at random, but without alarm), business under blue tarps, not going out at night as it is too dangerous, large amounts of pulp in OJ . . . it is just as easy to acclimate to things back here in the US (and away from SA).

There are things that I wanted to do upon return to the US, but now they have become a lesser priority as (well) I am continuing to live my life here (with its (possibly relatively trivial) issues and problems). There are letters/postcards (it'll cost only 84 cents to mail) that I'd like to write to Raymond and to Nancy.

Heck (actually, I'd like to write Hell, so) Hell, there are some minor amounts of cash that I'd like to send to some people there -- just to make. . . well, I don't think that I can call it a dent. . . just to make a statement -- "I remember you and I hope that you are doing well; perhaps this will make your day a little better" type of letter.

So, why haven't I?

Because, perhaps, I've drifted away from the experience a little, because my "remember-Mamelodi" button is inoperative. Because (well) I'm (a) human, I'm a husband. I'm a father, I'm an employee.

Because the things at hand are not out-of-sight, out-of-mind. Because in Dave-World, pushing a swing loaded with a just over 1,000,000 minutes old person is pretty darn important; giving a hug to someone that has donated her (now-shorter) hair is pretty darn important, too. As is cutting the hang-toenail of #3 while he sleeps and handing a wrench to #2 to fix a bike. Because talking to one's wife over the sound of rain and wind is fun.

So, here is the deal: If you went on the trip to Mamelodi, do one (just one) of the things that you thought of over there that you really ought to do when you're back over here. Do the one that just popped into your mind just now. Write it down ('cause if you don't within 9 seconds, studies show that you probably won't). Put it on your 'fridge or in your calendar. And don't Nike it, but plain and simple "Do It".

If you didn't go to South Africa. Great, thanks for being part of the support team. But, when you read the above statement, you thought of something useful/good/supportive that you wanted to do. It might have been to write your Mom (when is that Hallmark-created holiday anyway - is it this weekend or next?), to pick up some trash, or to schedule (really schedule and then follow through with) some quality time with your son, daughter, Mom, Dad, friend, book, dog (sorry, but cats don't fall into this category). And once again, "Do It".

Do the Important, I want to help friends/society/the-world thing. Do the I-say-that-I-don't-have-time-but-its-just-an-excuse thing that you've been meaning to do.

Do It by Sunday Evening . . . and then celebrate the Did It.

1 comment:

RachelEP said...

Dave -- ran across your blog (linked to other's blogs) while avoiding work, because, to be honest, I am not the person I am when I left for Mamelodi, and now my job doesn't fit.

The one thing that I promised myself I would do was tell others about the trip ... really dig in and tell them. Sometimes I have hated doing that, and the fear that people would not understand was overwhelming. But today, I saw that promise kept to myself pay off in a major way when I listened to one of my coworkers tell her friend on the phone 3 of my best Mamelodi stories like they were her own, and offered to send her the pictures. Awesome ... so glad I decided to tell the stories.