Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Fortunately We Are Not In Control!!!! or Why I Love Willie Nelson ~ Take your Pick....

I love Willie Nelson. Of course I love his music. His songs have made me cry, laugh, chill out, and sent me deep into memories. But I also love his passion and his approach to life. I love his Bio-fuel bus. I love that he does karate. I love the fact that he plays Trigger, the same guitar he has had for more than 40 years, because why buy something new when the something old sounds so damn good and you love it so much. I love the fact that he bought the town and the surrounding buildings that he was born in. I love the fact that he keeps his family close. His sister Bobby is his piano player, his children work for him. I love the fact that he told the State of Texas to screw themselves when they wanted to name a freaking Turnpike after him. I mean really, a freakin’ TURNPIKE???? For Willie Nelson, the LEGEND? How about a DAMN FREEWAY? WTF.COM???? I love the fact that when you see Willie and you want to talk to him, he does it, and he looks you in the eye as if you really matter. I love the fact that he helps the common man, the Farmer. He cares for people.

That is why several weeks ago when I saw a book at Barnes and Noble titled “The Tao Of Willie” I scooped it up as quickly as I could. It’s not a big book, just a small book billed “A guide to the happiness in your heart”.
Willie is a very funny guy and I knew it would have some funny stories in it.

I read a couple of chapters every once in a while. I just open the book to whatever page the book opens to and I read it. Some of the chapters are insightful and some are just really funny stories.

This past week I have been having a really tough time of it. I don’t really want to splash it all over the internet, but my friends know what I’m talking about.
Jerry had a stressful morning and after he went off to work I picked up the Tao of Willie and flipped it open. I have no idea why this certain chapter popped up, but boy, did it give me a bit of perspective to live by during this time. It fit his morning perfectly and it also has given me a mantra to repeat several times during my trials.

Fortunately We Are Not In Control!!!!

While I was reading it and thinking about our predicaments I was laughing so hard I had tears in my eyes. Cooper was looking at me like I was crazy. (she often does that) The only problem with the laughing was it was causing some pain. Oh, well, it was worth it to get a good laugh so early in the morning.

I once read that to keep yourself healthy you should have one good belly laugh a day. I haven’t had enough of those lately. I should try harder. Well, maybe not for a while. Or maybe some small little inside laughs. Big ones hurt too much.

The Tao Of Willie

ISBN # I-592-40197-X

Here is Willie’s story that gave me so much insight and joy!

Fortunately We Are Not In Control

We wake up in a new world every day.
And we wouldn’t have it any other way.
~ Willie Nelson, “Wouldn’t Have It Any Other Way”

”Don’t sweat the small stuff” is one of the best pieces of advice I’ve heard. Or is it “Don’t pet the sweaty stuff” – I never can remember which. Confused?

Join the club.

Does it sometimes seem as if you have no real say in what happens in your life?
There may be a good reason for that.
Do you feel like the years are racing by like fence posts outside your car window and you’ve misplaced the steering wheel?
There’s a good reason for that, because you are careening out of control, flying through the universe at a million miles an hour.


Let me guess: now you’re really confused. Am I talking about your life or the cosmos? To be honest, I’m a little too confused to say. But here’s the good news.
A certain amount of confusion is inevitable in life. Every day – possibly every hour – we are all faced with a thousand decisions, What to eat? What to say? Where to go? When to stay? Why do this? Why not do that?

As I say to the band, indecision may or may no be our problem.
I’m sure your life is also plenty complicated, but since I don’t know about yours, pretend for a moment that you’re me. This year, like just about every year, you’ll travel tens of thousands of miles in the company of four or five buses, several semi-trailers of members, roadies, technicians, and various assorted hangers-on. All of this will be scheduled around a couple hundred audiences, each of which numbers in the thousands, and it all has to happen on time or everything will fall apart.

Each night, I have to decide which songs to sing and in what order, and the only thing that’s certain is that we’ll run out of time or the venue will run out of beer before I run out of songs.

So things tend to get a little complicated – as things tend to do – and the most single important thing for you to remember is not to panic.

When the panic – among other things – hits the fan, there’s one key phrase to remember.

Fortunately we are not in control.

Sounds so good, I think I’ll try it again.

Fortunately we are not in control.

There. I feel better already.

“Fortunately we are not in control” is my way of saying it ain’t my fault, and probably isn’t anyone else’s fault either.

So if we’re not in control, you’re probably wondering who is in control. And the answer is: I don’t know. But it ain’t me, and it ain’t you, because….

Fortunately we are not in control.

Here’s the good part. Once you admit that you can’t control everything, then it becomes clear that sometimes you just have to let things happen. It just makes everything so much easier, and it keeps you a lot happier with they way things work out.
Think of it this way:

If you get out of bed thinking everything’s gonna be wonderful, all too soon you’re going to see things happen that aren’t so wonderful. And if your walking around thinking everything’s going to be terrible, then you’re gonna obsess on that and miss what was good.

So where does that leave us?

An excellent question, because we are left with the simple fact that the beauty of life is in the discovery of things as they happen.
Like my first wife Martha, used to say, “Don’t worry about a thing….there ain’t nothing gonna work out right.”

I’m not sure I knew what she meant at the time, but she seemed happy when she said it.

Sixty years ago, if Id had the opportunity to lay out my whole life just the way I wanted it to happen – whatever I would have planned would have paled in comparison with what’s actually happened.

And all I can say about that is….Fortunately, I wasn’t in control.

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