Ralph Higgins

Ralph Higgins
color pencil sketch by Gayle Higgins

Quotes I Like

"If you do not take an interest in the affairs of your government, then you are doomed to live under the rule of fools."

– Plato


Monday, November 26, 2012

Just Let Go

       Gayle and I once watched a comedian do a routine on things we all experience in everyday life and the various conflicts that are inevitable.  After the description of each frustrating situation he would say, “Just let go.”  By the end of his routine, despite his humorous context, the message came through – “Just let go.”

            Our experiences in life are transitory.  Life itself is transitory.  Tragedies result in pain and scars that will never go away.  But there are things that we consider important that may not be as important as we think.  Maybe we should just let them go.

A minister’s biblical quote, “it came to pass,” may be a reminder that things “pass” and change – not always for the best, but change is inevitable.  The only constant in life is change.  Age seems to make this truth less palatable.

            I had an extra room built over my garage ostensibly for an apartment someday or maybe as a refuge if Gayle comes after me with a knife.  But the real reason for the extra space was to store all my junk.

We had a garage sale recently and Gayle had a ton of stuff to sell.  With my garage full of junk, I could hardly find anything to add to the sale.  I’m a pack rat.  I can’t seem to get rid of anything.  It’s a sickness.  I’m “fastidiously challenged.”

            As we age, “letting go” is a requirement that is forced on us.  Accepting the process can make life a little easier.

            We have to learn to let go of our kids, who leave the nest and move on with their own lives.  Sadly, we have to accept the passing of friends and relatives.  That’s a tough one.  But we even hold onto guilt and regrets.  Why?  The past is gone.  But it’s not easy to let it go.

Life is full of disappointments.  It’s important to understand that without expectations you can’t have disappointments.  How can you be disappointed if you didn’t have an expectation?  Lowering or eliminating expectations can temper disappointment. 

            I think women have a more difficult time adjusting to their physical changes as they age.  Society thrusts youthful beauty and air-brushed images on us as the female ideal.  It’s futile to swim against the current of time.  The real source of female beauty isn’t external anyway.

Some men can look in a mirror and see their grandfather and still think they look cool.  This despite Velcro straps on tennis shoes, an expanding belly, an incredible shrinking ass, and a bathroom scale that lies and adds 50 pounds for a pair of underpants and two socks.  

Speaking of mirrors, I actually try not to look in a mirror.  That’s why I look like a Caucasian version of boxing promoter Don King in the morning, which scares the hell out of Gayle at breakfast.

I could go on, but I’ve already cut this piece in half.  Cutting and editing for a writer is painful.  It’s like selling an important autographed book at a garage sale for a dime.  But I had to cut out some good stuff, because I’m learning to “let go.”


  1. Wow, Gayle is and always has been the perfect gal for you! It can't be easy for her to live with a pack rat.. Remember the old saying? No, I don't either! Who cares what the old saying is anyway... Bravo, Gayle!

    1. "Bravo, Gayle??" Wait a minute...I'm the poor, sick puppy with the dreaded "pack-rat" syndrome and the 50 pound underpants. In addition, I'm losing my talent to impersonate Don King or Buckwheat due to my loss of hair. Someday "bravo Gayle" is going to desperately need something buried somewhere in the attic that only I can find. I'll be a hero again!

  2. Wow, Ralph, I can relate! Except for the garage! Your garage is a "work of art"!!!! I think I saw Jimmy Hoffa hiding behind your 16 X 20 painting of Red Skeleton.

    My wife was talking today about the computer and bills. I am totally paperless (except for a couple of doctors who are not with the times) and she is worried about figuring out how to pay the bills if I exit! I told her "not my worry, then!".

    50 lb underwear? I clean mine out more often!!!!!

    RK may equal you, except he doesn't even unpack the boxes when he moves to his next "last home we will ever live in"! He is always packed for the move!

    1. Ed - I was hoping that no one would come up with your statement about the underwear. I thought about that after I had already written the thing. I was trying to make the point that if you weigh socks and underpants it wouldn't even register, so the extra weight must be due to something else...like overeating. That's something I'm good at.

  3. Ralph, you need to submit this quote and story to AARP. It is an excellent story and should be shared with all us pre-baby boomers and the baby boomers. You have out done yourself buddy.
    Your pal,

    1. Thanks, Jim -
      I appreciate your encouraging words. I guess we've lived long enough to have a lot of stories to tell. All the best to you.