Tuesday, June 7, 2011

You've Got to Enjoy Your Life, Cher

I recently posted this on my guest blogging group, Petit Fours & Hot Tamales, and thought it would be applicable here as well. Hope you enjoy! And yes, I will try to do better with blogging on a more regular basis!

In reviewing my recent blog posts, I’ve noticed how many subjects relate to writing, tips on writing, etc. It occurred to me there’s a life tip I wanted to share, one that resonated with me and seems a good reminder for us all.

In short, “You’ve got to enjoy your life, cher.”

Wait. Don’t panic. I’m not yanking out reruns of The Sonny & Cher Show (heaven forbid). For those who don’t know, “cher” is a Cajun slang term for friend.

During a recent visit to New Orleans to see family, I met up with a friend at a local hangout. I love local hangouts, the kinds of places where fascinating people converge. I’ve met all sorts of folk: an FBI agent who rescued people from roofs during Hurricane Katrina, a blacksmith who travels across South Louisiana to shoe horses I used to admire and pet at the farms when I was younger, restaurant owners who claim they know the right way to cook crawfish.

But one man in particular struck me. During heavy rains in 1995 when most of the city flooded, he lost everything. His life turned upside down, but he chose to rebuild. Ten years later, Hurricane Katrina happened. He lost everything again. He rebuilt once more, taking the scattered pieces of his life and somehow molding them into a reason to keep going. Stunned by his persistence, even his choice to not relocate elsewhere, I asked how he managed to survive 2 such major losses and what kept him going.

He offered a wide grin, and there was a gleam in his eye as he said, “You’ve got to enjoy your life, cher.”

He proceeded to tell me how much he loved the region, how sitting at the edge of a pier and fishing under a crimson sunset made all the hassle of rebuilding worthwhile. He spoke of living each day, and more importantly, enjoying each day.

I’m the poster girl for stress, but when things get too overwhelming, I try to think back to interesting souls I’ve encountered, particularly the one who said, “You’ve got to enjoy your life, cher.”

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