I was thinking the other morning. Thinking of the "constants" in my life. The things that I continually look to for encouragement, joy, peace and inspiration. I had this running list in my head, and so I wrote it down. I thought I'd share my list with you, a peek into my little world and maybe some of the things that make me tick.
I'll start with 3 in no particular order, and in upcoming posts, I will share more. Just bear with me, it could be fun.

#1. As you know, I play tennis. I love tennis. I'm kind of addicted to it. Sometimes I play twice in one day, and my elbow will start to ache. Ibuprofen is my friend. Look at these lovely ladies in the photo. I don't know them personally, but I DO get the awesome opportunity to play with Betty, Cora Jane and Marty. These are ladies I met at the club, and they are all in their 80's. I think the oldest is 87. They can't move as fast as I can, but boy, can they hammer a dadgum green fuzzy ball. They call me dear, and little girl. One of them claims I "beat up on her" after I won our match, then turned around and hugged me. These ladies are my tennis inspiration. Not Ana Ivanovic or Maria Sharapova. I know I will never play like them, but maybe I can play like Betty when I am 87!
#2. We don't have cable t.v. No, we don't have satellite either. Close your gaping mouth, and let me finish. We have not had cable for many years. We don't even watch t.v. with an antenna. So, I am not going to be able to follow any "Idol" or "Lost" commentary. We watch DVD's of our favorite movies and kids shows, but have found that when we have been paying for cable, it ends up being a waste of money. We simply don't watch much t.v., we enjoy other things more I guess. But there are 2 t.v. series I simply can't do without. After a long day, and in need of a laugh, these are the 2 I pop in. MASH. I know, can you believe it? I remember hearing the song come on our t.v. as a kid and my dad rushing in to watch his favorite show. I didn't much get it then, but I love it now. My favorites are the first few seasons when Col. Blake and Frank Burns' characters are still on. I think I relate to the bumbling, not-so-clever but lovable Henry Blake. So call me old fashioned, but I love the cozy, homey feeling I get while laughing at the smart, one-of-a-kind humor on MASH.
If I'm not in the mood for MASH, but need a good laugh, I turn to Everybody Loves Raymond. Who can't relate to the crazy mother in law, or mother, and just the zany, warm, funny family dynamic of this show? It's clever. I love it.

#3. Lastly I would like to share with you a photo. This special picture is near and dear to my heart. Just a warning...it is a silly photo and in it are 3 of my dear childhood friends, who do look at this blog (if only occasionally). So I apologize in advanced if they are surprised to find themselves here on my blog with upturned noses and 80's hair. The photo itself is special, as are the people in it.
Toe, Stubs, Jill-Pill & me. Grade school through high school, different colleges and now miles apart, each one of us.
A few years back, I went through a dark, and well...dark time. We'll save the story for another day (maybe), but as I was grasping for peace, for a source of strength to get me through, I came upon this picture in one of my old albums, and I laughed. I had forgotten how to laugh, and this unfamiliar sound coming from my own lips startled me. But it was much needed, and as I studied the photo, I started to gain a new strength. I actually framed it in a little mahogany stained frame and put it by my bedside. I believe it sat there for a year or so. It was a great source of inspiration to me. First because it made me laugh. But more importantly, these wonderful, amazing, beautiful women had all suffered. And they lived. And they were laughing now. If they could, could I? I placed them by my bedside to help me every day.
So, I apologize to my sweet friends if I have embarrassed you in any way. But this picture, and you in it, and all those who have suffered and lived to tell the tale (which I understand is probably most of us) have been and continue to be an inspiration. I gather strength and hope and determination and laughter from all of you. It helps me get through the prickly thorns in this rosebush of life. (See why I relate to a bumbling not-so-clever character? - I just came up with that rosebush thing...)

So, there you go. Three things that are important to me. Three little peeks at what makes me tick. A few of my "constants."
Keep laughing!
Until next time...


Sants said...

I adore this open and honest look into your life. Your post has inspired me. Thank you.

I remember my dad watching MASH, too! Also, it was on after the news. I would read in bed until it came on and then sneak down to watch it from the hall (and my parents couldn't see me). I still LOVE the show. I have seen everyone of them many, many times!

I recommend you buy the first three seasons of Lost. And season four when it comes out. It isn't a comedy, but I think you will like it!

Trev said...

I have to agree. I love M*A*S*H and I think I'm to blame for getting Shelli addicted. My ENTIRE family loves that show. Raymond rocks, and tennis is a GREAT game! I am glad, however, that there are NO pictures of ME in my PJs with big hair and tape on my nose (are there?)!

Krista Jensen said...

A moving post, Shell! The girls who lived... Can't wait to see you at my door!

Aunt Pat said...

Yeah for M*A*S*H - didn't know you loved it. I've seen those shows a million times and never get tired. The early ones are my favorites too. When it went off the air, my friends got together to watch it but I was too sad. I didn't know that I would be able to see the re-runs for so long! Nice to know that kinfolk have shared values!

Matt, Nicki, Maizy and Hazel said...

I love reading your posts Shelli and being able to keep up with you and your family. Thanks for sharing all those little things you are thinking and going through. I love the picture of you four...that was hilarious. It doesn't seem like it was that long ago does it? That is until you do the math. lol. A good thing I remain immature to help hide my real age.

jharmon said...

Your post made me cry! I Must say I love that you love Tennis, I feel the same way about running. I also LOVE Raymond! It is our favorite show! And that picture is so funny! I feel happy that it could help in your time of need! Having just been to Karen's wedding, we are all laughing now! Gotta love life!

Toni C. said...

Ah Shelli - you made me cry!

Isn't it amazing how the down times seem so bad until you realize that they make the good times so much sweeter! Was that pic in Utah? I can't quite remember when it was taken... one of the MANY times we were all being goofs! It brings up so many questions...Who is Jill talking to? Who won the card game I'm sure we were playing? Was "come on eileen" playing in the background? Did I EVER take that shirt and hat off? LOL! I love you guys... I'm glad we're all still friends and for the wonderful world of blogs to bring us back together again. MWA!

Kevin and Amy said...

Surprise, surprise ... it's Stubs' little brother! I love this picture of you 4 goofballs! I'm sure Mike & I were hiding around the corner, waiting to do something obnoxious, that we thought was totally funny :) Ah, good times!

Hope you guys are doing well. Your blog is great! If you want to see what we've been up to, we're at: http://www.amsdenfamily.blogspot.com/.

Tell the rest of your family "Hi" for me.


Karen said...

Shelli, I'm so happy that I finally took some time to get caught up on your posts. I can't remember this picture, but I love it. I love it more that it helped you get through a tough time. When I was going through my divorce, I told my "crap" story a lot and then people would share their crap stories with me. I realized that we all have crap stories to tell and I began to be thankful for my crap story and thankful I didn't have to live out other people's crap stories.
Love you!

Karen said...

p.s. I have no doubt that you would beat up on old ladies while playing tennis. But do you play dodge ball with them pounding serve after serve at their heads while they try to cower in the corner? Or do you just do that to your novice tennis playing friends. (Who had such a tramatic experience that they have PTSD and will likely never play tennis again.)