I woke up this morning realizing (not for the first time) that I’m not as young as I was forty years ago. I know, pretty astonishing insight on my part. With that new revelation, I decided the focus of this blog is going to change. For those of you who might have read my previous postings, you may be scratching your head and saying you weren’t aware that it ever had a focus. Fair enough, I say. I have now played around with some possible names to better reflect my thoughts. Here are a few of the considerations–A Gathering of Geezers–The Retired Village People (still humming YMCA) –The Old and the Breathless–Depending on Depends–The Bald and the Beautiful. Since I couldn’t decide, I went with something less condescending and more of what I really want to write about–Lives Well Lived.
When I was working at a job, I’d often say I take my work seriously, but not myself. In practice, that was mostly true. Now that my work is deciding what to have for breakfast, being hopeful that I can write a clever story, or going for a desert hike, hoping to see a coyote and not a rattlesnake. The central idea is I have more time now to think, and also more time to choose what I will spend my time doing. I also consider the reality that there is far more life behind me than there is in front of me. That is not a morbid thought, but it is reality. So the central point becomes, what do I do with the rest of my life? What will make it the most pleasant, fulfilling, meaningful, vital, helpful, and peaceful? That last word strikes me as the most important one. For many years, peace is what I have sought.
The Mary Oliver poem When Death Comes ends with, “I don’t want to end up simply having visited this world.”
And a poem by Christopher Logue called Come To The Edge
Come to the edge.
We might fall.
Come to the edge.
It’s too high!
COME TO THE EDGE!
And they came,
And he pushed,
And they flew.
So here we are, moving closer to the next adventure. But if you’re like me, you are not quite ready to end this adventure we’re in now. And so this is what I want to explore, what I want to write about. I want to let people think, laugh, consider, and most of all, encourage us to choose to live the life we want right now. When that last day comes, I want to say, and I want you to say, ‘I lived life well.’
For whatever time we have remaining, let’s not just visit this world. Let’s live as we want to live.
Go well, David