Tuesday, August 07, 2012
I should be jumping in the shower right now and heading off to a dentist appt., but there's a lot on my mind... Let's just begin.
To the confessional--
I confess I've been thinking a lot about my existence on this planet since last week when I learned a friend of mine from high school died unexpectedly. She was 42.
Yesterday driving home from her funeral, I just kept dwelling on how temporary we are in this place. Yet, knowing that, we mostly live our lives as if it comes with unlimited mileage.
As someone who has always found myself thinking about death, it's not surprising for me that the unexpected death of a friend hit me so hard. Honestly, I still can't put my head around it. I still can't believe it was her body in the casket.
But it was a wake-up call to me.
It made/makes me look at my life and ask--
1) Are you living each day in a way that when you look back at your life you'll have no or few regrets?
2) Are you putting people and living things first?
3) Are you following your goals and dreams and visions of the life you want to lead?
And the final question to myself--
4) What can you do better?
This last question doesn't mean become a workaholic or try to be the best, as many of you know, one of my favorite things to do is sit on my deck, or in a lounge chair, or in my bed, or at a coffee shop, and do nothing. Just to watch the world. Just be.
But the question is -- when I see myself living the life I don't want to live, how I can I change it to make it better, to make it what I want and not what I accidentally let happen.
Gandhi said, "Actions express priorities" and I connect with this. Am I living my life in a way that is good and kind and helpful and in sync with my values?
Seeing my friend's life cut short is a reminder to me that we are all on limited time. It's hard to believe. I tend to think we all get about 70 years. 42? It's not the answer to what is the meaning of life, it is a life cut short.
So I think and think and think, what can I learn from this? as I know the feeling the end and I'll return into a word of petty complaints, into a world of overscheduled weeks and the feeling that we are all going to live forever and there's always more time... But I need to continue to check-in with myself.
I confess this year was my 25th high school reunion and I didn't go. I didn't go because I thought I'd just see everyone at my 30th.
And yesterday, at the funeral, I realized - this is my 25th high school reunion--as I reconnected with so many friends. Bittersweet. A sad event brought us all together, but there we were.
And what is an amazing thing is that I feel so connected to these people, these friends I haven't seen some in 15 years, some longer. We have a shared experience, a sense of place and togetherness, even if we didn't hang in the same groups. I kind of love walking into a place and seeing the faces I grew up with. It's the Cheers theme song, "Sometimes you want to go where everybody knows your name..."
I confess this funeral and death stuff brings me back to my writing and my favorite people.
It puts the priorities back into my life.
It makes me clean out my desk drawer and organize my office. It makes me sit down and think about my next projects. It makes me write a poem and send it to a friend just because I haven't done that in a while.