The late Andy Rooney once said, “I don’t pick subjects as much as they pick me.” It was easy to relate to this quote because I believe I write best when I am passionate about a subject. That unexpected flicker of inspiration hits me and my pen takes over the paper. Often, it is not something with which I am familiar, rather an urge so strong it drives me to research the information needed to create an interesting article.
Mr. Rooney filled the radio waves with his wisdom for many years. While I don’t proclaim to know him well enough to put words in his mouth, it wouldn’t surprise me if he agreed with my belief that life is like an Oreo Cookie; it’s the stuff that’s in the middle that counts.
An Oreo is inviting to the eye and hard to resist. I’m sure the manufactuer designed it to entice weak souls like myself. Yet, people love the center of the Oreo Cookie so much that the company makes a double stuffed version. The cookie part that was designed to appeal to the eye is good too, but the inside stuff is sweeter and more delectable. Even my grand dog thinks so.
As a recent retiree, I have meditated upon my foolish waste of valuable days throughout my life, when I planned months ahead for a vacation, counting the days until I would be able to venture off to some remote location to relax and enjoy life to the fullest. The vacation was enjoyable, but it would come and go so fast, that I would start planning for the next one.
What I have realized is that all the days leading up to the vacation and afterwards were just as important, if not more memorable in many ways. The rising early to get to work and open the office, the rushing from meeting to meeting, resolving crisis after crisis, those were the times that I really shined and they defined my place in society and my value to my family.
Much like the vacations I planned, the retirement I envisioned was one that included traveling and freedom to accomplish great things. Reality is quite different. While I have been able to travel a little and have written two books, I realize there are many days in between that are important, the double stuff filling so to speak. I don’t want to waste any more time waiting for that special moment to occur. I’m trying to think of each day as an opportunity to make a difference in some way. Some days I’m successful and others, well, let’s say there is room for improvement.
I think Mr. Rooney lived as if every day was the most important day of his life. He listened to his inner voice that spoke to him and urged him to write about a particular subject whenever the notion struck him. I think he probably enjoyed the special events, the fancy designed cookie, as much as anyone else, but I believe he valued the double stuffed center in a way that made his entire life special.
Which part do you like best?