Living Carefree Is Difficult: Excerpts from Middling

I write an occasional newsletter (quarterly when I don't forget) to friends and family about my life: music, books, work, and getting older. I'd love to send it to you if you're game. What follows is an excerpt from the fall 2018 issue.

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2018 was defined, in large part, by baseball.

Kara and I watched an entire season of Chicago Cubs baseball for the first time in our lives. At three hours a game, that adds up to a remarkable amount of time not hiking. We attached a flag mount to our house so that we could show our team spirit ( it’s in the back yard; we’re not crazy) and put a Cubs decal on Kara’s car. (It started peeling off almost immediately, which I suppose foreshadowed the team’s sad September.) Honestly, we barely recognize ourselves anymore.

The fall hasn’t been all peanuts and Cracker Jack, though. We have, in fact, gone outside from time to time. We went again to the Palisade Peach Festival, now in its fiftieth year, and while the festival hasn’t gotten any less lame for reaching that milestone, the peaches were once again awesome and the road trip was magnificent. In September a deer LICKED MY HAND in the parking lot of a Franciscan retreat center, a bucket list item I didn’t even know I had. And we got bikes, which a friend found for us while he was garage saling. We’re so Colorado now we almost rooted for the Rockies in the post-season.

I went on a few retreats this fall, mostly unforeseen opportunities. One was intended to help us discover a “rule of life” and an annual intention for ourselves. I didn’t expect it to be as impactful as it was, to be honest. I came out of it lingering on a verse that St. Peter wrote in one of his letters: “Live carefree before God; he is most careful with you” (1 Peter 5:6-7, The Message). Not a bad challenge, and not a bad assurance.

Living carefree is more difficult than it might seem on the surface, though. We live in worrisome times, made more worrisome by the seeming lack of care we extend to one another. To turn away from the toxicity can appear to be an act of negligence—if you’re not angry/worried/stressed you’re not paying attention. But there must be a way to live responsibly that also involves living carefree; and when we find that sweet spot, I think we very well may be pointing the whole world to the God who so loves it.

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Let me know if you'd like to be added to the distribution list for Middling. I'd love for you to get it.

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