Posted by: Teri Simon | 2012/01/01

My 2012 Mantra

2012 new yearWell, here it is, my friends, the first day of the new year 2012.  Regardless of how the last night of 2011  was spent (stick-in-the-mud me was in bed before 9:00!), we’ve all ended up in the exact same place:  the first day of the new year.

My task over the past week was to try and come up with a new mantra for this new year, needing to retire last year’s mantra of “Meaning, Grace, and Peace.”  I told y’all last week that I did pretty well in 2011 with the Meaning and Grace parts.  The Peace part?  Not so much.  So that made the task of coining 2012’s mantra that much more difficult, because Lord knows that, although I want to be here for sure to ring in 2013, I do NOT want to be all wigged out that I couldn’t live up to my personal mantra yet again!  So before I reveal The Flying Elephant’s Mantra for 2012, I need to clue you in on my mind’s meanderings.  Hopefully you won’t be as shocked to read it as I was to discover it!

It was not hard at all for me to find meaning in pretty much anything that happened to me over the past year.  That’s not to say that I can answer the question “why?”  I can’t.  I don’t know.  But I can typically find the “what’s,” “when’s,” “how’s,” and “who’s.”  Doing that helps me find the meaning.   Like, last week, a 10-year-old girl was killed in a car accident in a town near Nashville.  I do NOT know why.  I never will.  I know what happened:  the car she was a passenger in got t-boned by another car,  the driver of which who possibly lost consciousness while driving his car, and also died.  I also know that after the little girl died, there was an outpouring of support from her school community, her church community, and her community in general.  There will be meaning that will be found in all of that:  the fragility of life, the shock of sudden passing, the goodness of others in times of trouble.  That meaning will lead to grace for a lot of those involved: people who offer shoulders to cry on, food to share, memories to laugh over, the right words said at the right time, the right touch at the right time.  Yes, there will be a really sad, sorrowful road ahead for those this young girl left behind, but each day, someone touched by her life is going to have something happen that cracks at that door or grief and allows a little light in.  It may not happen this week, but it will happen.  There will be meaning, and there will be grace.

Will there, however, be peace?  Can there ever be peace?  I looked up the word “peace,” to try to understand.  Here’s what it can mean:  harmony, agreement, accord, amity, conciliation, pacification, unanimity, unity.  I looked up antonyms for the word, too:  disagreement, disharmony, fighting, war.  Wow.  Sounds a lot like the Land of Lung Junk to me:  my body is in disagreement with itself (some mutant cells think they can take over; other normal cells beg to differ), which leads to disharmony (Lung Junk makes me feel “feh,” not only physically, but emotionally and sometimes spiritually, too), and I am most certainly aware of the war that I’m fighting in my body, mind, and spirit with an arsenal of weapons in the shape of medicines and acupuncture and massage and Weird-Shit-O-Meter Therapy, not to mention friends and Blog Buddies and lots of prayers.

With all that going on, is it any wonder I didn’t get to the Peace part of the mantra last year?

Actually, yes.  Knowing me as I know me, yes.  It’s a wonder I couldn’t find the Peace.  ‘Cause I now realize that it was there all along, I just wasn’t looking for it the right way.  You see, there IS and HAS BEEN and ALWAYS WILL BE Peace in the Land of Lung Junk, or wherever you might roam.  It’s so obvious, it’s hidden in plain sight!  Peace is wherever there is meaning, and grace.  Peace is wherever there is a moment of clarity, a random act of kindness, and some sort of understanding.  Peace is found on shoulders of friends you can cry on, in shared memories of loved ones gone, and in laughing with a loved one until your sides hurt.  Peace is in each sunrise and sunset, each birthday, each new year.  And each ordinary day. And even in each crappy one.   It is not something that has to be sought.  Peace is just something that is.  Kind of like love.

Look, I’m not trying to be all mushy-gushy here, believe me.  2011, rough year that it was, has ended in such a harsh way for me, with the passing of some very dear people in my circle, and finding out about sad things like a friend’s dog dying, a friend’s cancer taking a turn for the yucky, a 10-year-old girl being killed in a car accident, and another friend of a friend being diagnosed with Lung Junk.  As we say here in the Land of Lung Junk, TOTAL SUCKAGE!  But in the moments after the shock, in that wave of support, in that onslaught of meaning and grace, there is and will be, peace.

So that’s it, my friends, the new mantra for a Flying Elephant for 2012: Peace.  I wish you a ton of it in these first days of the new year, and even more as the year goes on!

Much love,

Teri, the Flying Elephant in the Land of Lung Junk

p.s. Just so you know:  I’ll be blogging again on Wednesday.  Tomorrow I’m going to have another CT scan, and will meet with Dr. Horn on Wednesday to find out what’s going on in my war-torn body, since I’ve been on the Tarceva for a month now. (And yes, I AM feeling its full effects!  So long dairy foods and lettuce, and fare-thee-well nice clear skin!)  My brother is coming in to escort me to that appointment, bringing his brotherly peace with him!  I appreciate your prayers, and y’all are always in mine!



  1. As usual you brought a smile to my mouth and a tear to my eye! “Peace is something that is -like love.” How wise and how perfect. You are such an inspiration to the rest of out there in the land of junk!
    Stay strong Teri!

  2. Loads of peace-filled thoughts go with you on Wednesday. Love, Amy

  3. A sidebar: why does “shalom” mean “hello” “goodbye” and ” peace”? A manner of speaking…or something deeper?

    My prayers for good scans … And always,


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