If you ever find yourself wondering how you can keep from being bored with life, all you have to do is sit back and start to think of the events of your lifetime. Stirring up memories can prove to be the most entertaining time of your life. Stirring up memories can be the happiest time of your life.
Then again, stirring up memories also can be one of the saddest times of your life.
Punxsutawney Phil, the Seer of Seers, the eternal prognosticator on Feb. 2 each year -- accompanied by his bearded friends, garbed in tall black hats and long black tailcoats -- announced on Gobbler's Hill we can rest assured spring will be early this year. All is well and good, so long as some much-needed moisture accompanies this prediction. Also in February we celebrate the birthdays of two truly famous leaders of our nation -- none other than Honest Abe Lincoln and George Washington.
And, oh yes, Valentine's Day. A lot of love is packed into 28 days of our lives in February, the shortest month of each year. A whole lot of memories "stirred up" from observing these holidays.
Starting with Valentine's Day, how many memories can you conjure about this special day of the year? What's the first thing that pops into your mind? Do you have to run to the store and pick up a card to mail to someone special in your life? Or are you remembering the surprise of receiving an extra-special card from a friend or neighbor.
Maybe it was a first kiss, or a first date. Maybe it was the first time you were brave enough to tell another person, "I love you." Maybe it was the first time you received a bouquet of flowers from someone special in your life.
Admittedly, love is everything it's cracked up to be and that is why some people are so cynical about it. Love really is worth fighting for, being brave for, risking everything for. We can do no great things -- only small things with great love. No one can love or help others without loving or helping themselves.
And that, in no other simple words, is what love is about, what makes the world go around.
Look at Lincoln and Washington. Great leaders. Beloved leaders. They left a beloved mark on a country, that without a doubt, they loved as well. Did they ever reminisce about life? Did they ever say to themselves, "The task ahead of me is never as great as the power behind me?" What did George Washington feel when he was crossing the Delaware with his troops?
Changes in values occur as we mature. Time passes. Life happens. Distance separates. Children grow up. Hearts break. Parents die. Careers start, and careers end. We all change. Day in and day out, rarely a day passes something new does not happen. We all have a fascination with life, as well as about life.
We all experience fascinations in our lives, in varying degrees and diversity. I have to admit one of the fascinations in my personal life pertains to the field of chosen professions by individuals. I'm guilty of quick-guessing the profession of a new person I meet -- and I'm often mistaken. It is still intriguing. Just what makes a person choose a particular profession? Was it inheritance, events, dreams or chance they have chosen the field they are in? Though thankful and grateful for every profession needed for the survival of us all, at this particular moment, I find myself categorizing what professions would be best addressed to fitting the bill of "stirring up memories." A movie producer perhaps?
Or maybe teachers, senior citizens, community volunteers, parents or grandparents? All of these could be found at Deines Cultural Art Center for Kansas Day festivities, which successfully focused on the youth of the community. Mulling all of this, I find it to be extremely difficult in pinpointing any one particular profession that could be cited as being more in the way of stirring up memories than another, as each of us is unique in our own way and, for the most part, offer our best to one another.
If February truly is the month of love, we can appreciate how important the second month of each new year is to each of us. Love is the seed of all hope. It requires patience. Love knows no limits, but does require forgiveness. Above all, every act of love changes two people -- the one giving and the one receiving.
Does the old cliche, "love makes the world go around" ring a bell in your world? Loving others is not so much an obligation as a privilege. If we love life, life might just love us back.
Keeping with that theme, regardless of what profession each of us have chosen as our lot in life, we can readily see the basis and importance in our lives inherent on the quality of our thoughts, at all times.
We do need to think of others.
We do need to love others.
We do need to give forethought to what we demand of others.
We do need to care.
We do need to quit being so selfish and thoughtless and wait, with outstretched hands, for handouts and freebies.
We do need to simplify.
We do need to cut back.
We do need to quit spending money foolishly.
We do need to remember all things in life are temporary.
Appreciating the fact it is very important for each and every one of us to enjoy life day in and day out, we can wholeheartedly agree if everything is going well, we need to enjoy it totally, for it will not last forever.
If things are going wrong, don't worry, it can't last long either, for every path in life has a few puddles along the way all. The end results are determined by how well we have managed to cross those hurdles along the way. Memories, good or bad, always will exist. Life moves on and so does love.
Mother Theresa said it best when she said to make the biggest difference in the world, we were all to love those around us, beginning with our family.
So, how about taking the challenge to end each phone conversation, each meeting and greeting of your family members with a hug accompanied by the meaningful words, "I love you." In so doing, you are making one of the most precious memories in your entire life.
Nadene Albrecht resides in Russell and is a retired real estate broker.