By Dave Markwell

The other morning I was greeted with an unexpected message on Facebook from an old buddy whom I don’t chat with often, but one whose fate with me is sealed. For better or worse, he’s my buddy. Here’s the exchange I began my day with and am still smiling about.

Him: I have not been on Facebook forever, now I click your link and get to see and hear your ugly face. Good morning.

Me: I’m cute!

Him: Indeed. However, as a macho man, I must slur you as a greeting.

Me: You look more like a “nacho” man.

Him: Damn it. So true. Gotta go. Enjoy your day.

Me: Back at ya, pal!

I am still smiling because: first, it was a nice surprise from my buddy. As mentioned, I don’t see him often, but am always pleased when I do. Second, my “nacho” man comment cracked me up. He’s a bit “husky” these days and in the complex language of old friends, he felt the love in my jab and I’m sure he smiled, too.

I am often accused of being my own best audience. My daughter will, happily and heartily, confirm my self-congratulatory nature as she is most often victimized by it. So, while I am often quite proud of my “wit” and hilarity, I understand that I may not have a lot of company in my back-patting line. And I don’t really care.

I think having a healthy (or unhealthy) appreciation of our goofy little contributions to the world is a good thing. As life seemingly becomes more complicated and the bombardment of “inputs” rain down with monsoon-like volume, it can sometimes be a challenge to see through our windshield, no matter how fast the wipers swing. Lots of opinions about how we should think/act/be litter the paths we travel and can make “what’s right” a hard thing to be certain of.

However, having a solid foundation of self-awareness and some humor about the whole thing makes the ride a bit more enjoyable. We need our home base where we feel sure and right and hopeful. It is here that life is framed. We make our plans and decide our next moves. It’s important to be in the “right” space to know what’s “right”.

William Paul Young defined wholeness as when “the way of your being matches the truth of your being.” I like this definition. A certain permission is given to be whole, because it includes the truth. Again, having so many people and pressures “telling” us how we should live, it’s nice to be reminded that the only voice we need to listen to is our own.

It is here where our little self-love is vital and why, as banal as my “nacho” man comment might have been, is important. It made me like myself for thinking and saying it. This translated into a little spike in confidence and this is where the good stuff happens. And I like the good stuff.

So, I suspect my little “expressions”, such as they are, will continue. I’m sure my daughter will be delighted by this. However, after she rips me with a particularly nice zinger and I watch her walk away with her ears wiggling as she smiles in pride at her burn, I know that she is her own best audience, too, and feels good. And this makes me feel good…

[EDITOR’S NOTE:”Feel Good Friday” is a regular column written by Des Moines resident Dave Markwell, whose first book is called “A Feel Good Life” (buy it on Amazon here). He also runs the Waterland Arcade, located at 22306 Marine View Drive South. Dave extols to all neighbors: “Enjoy where we live. Put your feet on the pavement and truly feel how great it is to live here!” Also, Dave desperately needs more friends – find him on Facebook here.

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