Saturday, December 03, 2005

Tuesdays With Morrie

I just recently finished reading Tuesdays With Morrie. A book on everyone's list, or at least it should be. I've always meant to read it, but haven't been able to get around to it recently. Now, I'm not posting this to do a book report, so if you want to know about the story, you should just read it.

It just really touched me, as almost everyone who reads this book will agree. I finished the book during my lunch period last week, while eating a cinnamon-raisin bagel with peanut butter on it. [you may find this odd, but have you tried it? sooo good...] I was sitting by myself in a Bruegger's Bagel Shop, nose in my book, peanut butter spilling off of my bagel as I bit into it, and as I reached the end of the story, I felt tears start to roll down my cheeks. By the end of the book, I was close to sobbing, the tears steadily rolling down my cheeks.

Now, I'll be honest. I'm not a big crier when I'm in public. I would prefer to do my crying/sobbing/tearing up in private and then compose myself once again before others see me. So, I don't often cry in movie theaters unless the movie really hits an emotional chord with me. [Rent is an obvious example.] Books are even less successful at making me cry. Theater can do it, given the right show on the stage...musicals especially are good at bringing out my tears. But, all said, crying in a Bruegger's over a book that I just finished reading is not generally on the list of things for which I'm known.

Having said that, I found myself not at all embarrassed that I was sitting in a Bruegger's openly crying over the book I had just finished. There's something magical about that story. The way Mitch Albom tells it makes you feel you're right there learning with him as Morrie talks. After I closed the finished book, I sat, tears still rolling pretty steadily, and finished eating that delicious cinnamon-raisin bagel with peanut butter on it, and found myself not even needing to look around to see if other people were looking at me. Not that I didn't care, it just simply didn't matter. Let them look--maybe they'll see that I just finished reading Tuesdays With Morrie and either decide they need to read it or remember the feeling they had when they finished the book.

Man, that is such a wonderful feeling. I would love to feel like that all the time. Feel completely confident with myself so that I am able to express emotion, thoughts, ideas without worrying about what others around me will think. It's true, I don't obsess over what they might think...I've learned not to let others' judgments get in the way of what I want to do, but it's also true that most of us hold back somewhat for fear of what others will think of us. As stupid as it is, we all do this.

And Morrie touched me in such a way that day, that all of that fell away, and I was left with a great sense of inner peace. Sittin', cryin', eatin' my lunch, thinkin' about the lessons that Morrie left with all of us in this book.

And when my lunch hour ended, I calmly wiped my eyes with a napkin, collected my stuff, and walked happily out the door. My thoughts as I left Bruegger's centered on: "When I grow up, I want to be like Morrie. But in the mean time, I want to live life to its fullest so that I can look back and appreciate all that I did with my time."

It's like a New Year's resolution, but for life. One that is so important to follow through on.

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