As we get older, sometimes we forget how to be silly, but not my friends Joe and Sheila. On New Year’s Eve last year, our families were out walking in the woods just before midnight and Joe suggested that we all take a turn twirling in the snow until we got dizzy and dropped to the ground. And we did it and it was wonderful.
When I think about Joe’s idea, I think that’s a great life lesson—to remember to be silly once in a while. And then I realized that Joe and Sheila have taught me a lot of great lessons about how to live, like…
Twirl until you get dizzy and fall to the ground.
Hike in the woods at dark and sing at the top of your lungs like you’re on stage.
Laugh until you almost wet your pants.
Host a party and invite 100 of your closest friends and family members.
And sing like a rock star.
Joe was diagnosed with a life threatening disease three years ago but their family chose to live instead of the alternative. They accepted the cards they were dealt and moved on with so much grace.
I’ve had many conversations with Sheila about Joe’s illness and she never complained about the path their lives have taken. In fact, they seemed to have nudged fun and silliness up to the top of their list, in spite of their situation.
My brother Mick’s favorite song was “I Hope You Dance” by Lee Ann Womack. Although I love all of the messages in that song, there’s one part that I find especially beautiful and it reminds me of my friends.
I hope you still feel small when you stand beside the ocean,
Whenever one door closes I hope one more opens,
Promise me that you’ll give faith a fighting chance,
And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance, I hope you dance.
In part because of Joe and Sheila, I plan to continue dancing, even if I look silly doing it.