March 7, 2019
How do I want to live my life? The rest of my life as I am approaching my 76th year? The answer I give, that books and magazines give is: “with joy and purpose, giving to myself and others.”
I’ve pondered what that exactly means in my real world, in the day I have before me. The one day I have right now. So I got up one morning and started to make a list for myself.
I want to eat enough good food to be healthy without spending much time thinking about it. Spinach salads, broccoli and tomatoes and beets. But also mashed potatoes, macaroni and cheese, and yummy chocolate desserts.
I want to exercise enough to maintain a healthy heart rate, to keep limber, to not become creaky and demented. Just enough to ward off those monsters. I’ll get on the treadmill, do lunges and kettle ball and jumping jacks. Just enough so that I can go for long vigorous walks in the woods and take deep breaths of brisk, fresh air. And see the beauty around me. Hear the birds and see unidentifiable paw prints and wonder what big thing walked the path just before I did.
I want to write and draw the beauty I see even though I am no artist and rarely show my work to anyone. It just feels so darn good to do it. While writing or drawing I can’t think of anything else. I am focused on the one task before me and that’s a good place to be.
I want to have friends I can have coffee with while we talk serious things. I can look into their eyes as they share their excitement…or their pain. Friends who can see the pain in my heart and call it out of me. Challenge me to resolve it. Maybe have an idea I can try because it worked for them. Friends who treasure my heart and want to hear what I think.
And I want to stop arguing or cajoling other people into “meaningful” conversations. So that I can honor the choices they have made for their own lives and happiness.
I want to travel and see new places and new peoples, live in their culture a bit. Glimpsing the glitzy, opulent lives of the wealthy so that I can see what gives them peace and where they find rest and how they feel in a world so torn and at odds with itself. And I want to sit and talk with outcasts, people on the fringes, people who do not have opulence around them and don’t know what it means or how to spell it. What gets them out of bed every day besides a hungry tummy? I want to hear about these things.
I want to read good books that make me laugh or cry.
I want to give something of myself to each of my grandchildren (and the great-grands), something that will be lasting, that will become part of who they are. Something besides money or heirlooms or dishes or silver, so that the treasured parts of me will be a part of them.
I want to do frivolous things on purpose, because I want to. Not just because someone says, “Hey, lets..!”
I want to be an influencer so that every person, every place will be a bit better when I leave, just because I was there. Not because I said a super wise thing, or because I was spectacular, but just because I was there. They don’t even have to know it. Or say it.
I can’t do all of these things in one day, of course, but I can do some. So that at the end of each day, I will sit on my couch with a book, something good on my TV in the background, a puzzle to work during commercials, a cup of tea in my favorite mug, maybe a glass of wine.
And I will rest in the knowledge of my day well lived.