This evening, while indulging in my very favorite after-dinner pastime (sitting in a hot bath with a good book), I read a line that caused an “ah-ha” moment:
WHY is “a word for which scholars [have] an ineradicable fondness.”
Without sounding too snooty, I’ve always considered myself somewhat scholarly. I chatted my way through grade school (all my report cards said, “Ashli is very bright, but talks too much in class…”), enjoyed success in GT and honor classes in high school, earned a degree in math (not everybody’s forte) because it simply makes sense to me, went back for a master’s degree just for the sake of having one, and (as you are likely tired of reading) I am a firm believer in lifelong learning. That qualifies as “Scholarly,” right?
All of a sudden, I’m not so sure that is right. If a voracious appetite for uncovering WHY is reflective of a scholar, I don’t think I do qualify anymore. I used to be that way. I used to argue ’til I was blue in the face and dig, dig, dig until I got to the bottom of the WHY. But now? Now I may have to give up my “Scholarly” hat. You see, WHY matters less and less the more I think about it. Instead of older and wiser, I’m pretty sure that the longer I go, I’m increasingly happy to coast somewhat mindlessly. I don’t really need to know why I feel what I feel anymore. I just know that what is, IS. And worst of all (in the eyes of true scholars), that knowledge is really comfortable – even cozy in a warm and snuggly kind of way.
For example, the book in which I read my “ah-ha” was one of hundreds, maybe thousands, of less-than-classic-or-scholarly-romance novels that I devour like Coach downs sweet tea: In Pursuit of Eliza Cynster by Stephanie Laurens. I read a variety of genres and authors, but a good book of trashy, cheesy romance always fits the bill! They’re a quick read, a fun escape, and a guaranteed good ending. I ask you – what’s not to love about that??
Finally, if living in a tiny cabin on a remote lake with just Coach and the kids, our very own Walden Pond, was an actual possibility, I just might say, “Sign me up! NOW!!” Being a part of the big picture, the rat race, and the WHY explorers is just not that appealing these days. What I really want is more time with my family. I love when we are together. I love that we all four like to watch movies, eat popcorn, stay up too late, and then lazy away the next day. I love afternoons at the lake, swimming, playing on the jet-skis, and loading up just as the sun drops below the waterline.
I love family dinners where I was home enough during the day to cook in my own kitchen, and we all sit down together to eat, and talk, and watch NCIS.
Who am I kidding, I just love my crew. And I don’t need to know WHY, I just DO.
I guess that means I must give up my “Scholarly” label. I am surely not nearly as smart as I hoped to be if ferreting out the WHY is no longer a deep obsession in every situation. Oh well, I can still claim “Numbers’ Nerd” and enjoy a gentle peace that comes with accepting what IS.