Just a bit of a rant


Founding Member
Hi all

I need to rant a bit and where best to do it than here?!

In the last 2 weeks:

1. A close friend has had surgery for colon cancer
2. A second close friend has been hospitalised with a series of serious health issues - and on top of that has since discovered he has cancer
3. My closest friend in the whole world had to cancel our dinner plans for tomorrow as he needs emergency surgery
4. My car broke down - irretrievably
5. A friend who was involved in a serious climbing accident in the Himalayas 2 months ago where 8 people died, contacted me yesterday to say her husband had dropped down dead on Sunday. Pulmonary embolism.

I need to say this:

Life is too short. It really, really is. Don't wait for the stars to align in your favour in order to be happy. Take control for yourself. Steer your life how you want it - and if that's not possible because circumstances really do put too many obstacles in your way, then look for the happiness in small things. A smile. A leaf blowing along the pavement. A sunset. A sunrise. A cup of tea drunk at the perfect temperature.

But above all else, don't sit by and let life be something that happens to others.

I am not posting this to evoke any sympathy. Sympathy for me would be misguided and unwanted. Life can turn on a dime - so live it.



Founding Member
Bee, I have stated this elsewhere but can't recall if I have expressed the idea in this forum. Nor does it matter if I did because it is worth repeating.

In New Orleans, we have had our share of nastiness. Hurricane Katrina dealt us a horrific blow, but it wasn't the first. Hurricanes Betsy and Camille each did serious damage (in different ways) and we've had our share of other storms that caused flooding, property damage, disease, suffering, and death. Deep water, loss of utilities, damaged housing that has to be torn down and rebuilt... these and many more things have happened to us. We have known our share of sorrow and grief over the years.

We have rebuilt a lot since Katrina. The lower Ninth Ward area is still a mess for economic reasons, but other parts of the city are in good shape. When tourists come to New Orleans, they see what they interpret as a party-hearty town. They see lots of festivals. In fact, in the state of Louisiana, 50 weeks of the year we have festivals within a short drive of all the major cities. (We are fairly sedate for Christmas and New Years, because that time is for family.) Tourists probably think we are obsessed with partying. The unusual frequency of parties is a valid observation but tourists don't know the real reason behind that attitude.

We all know intimately that life is short and time is fleeting. We know that family and friends are important. We know that we need to state and, more than that, reinforce our expressions of love with those we hold dear. And because of that, we realize that you need no excuse to have a party, a gathering, a celebration. The local catch-phrase is laissez le bon temps roulez (Fr. "Let the good times roll.") Whether it is a family gathering or a big public festival, we celebrate.

We party now because we know that next week, it is entirely possible that some of the people at your most recent party won't be there for the next one. For that reason, we don't wait for weddings and funerals to bring friends and family together. The "family reunion" is a serious thing here. A weekend barbecue session or a seafood boil with beer, food, music, and friends is a great excuse to share time with folks. Even a simple "bring in the family for Sunday dinner" situation is like a happy gathering for everyone.

Therefore, in my own separate and perhaps superficially different way, may I say that I fully understand what you say and support your attitude. I see what you said and agree with it.
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