I don’t know completely what it is, but being back home around family has made me ponder the totality of my life. I am starting to feel old. I swore I’d handle getting older with dignity and calm. I didn’t think it would happen overnight!
I wonder if I’ve done enough so far. I try to predict what my regrets will be so that I can reduce their numbers. The ones I can’t change: Taking so long to know my authentic self, but I’m glad I got there at all. Avoiding risk and vulnerability, thinking I could prevent heartbreak, failure and disappointment. Taking serious things more seriously and the little things less. Dance more freely, without being so concerned about how I looked. For that matter, be concerned much less about how others may have or did view me. Like many folks in the last half of life, I wish I knew when I was younger whatI know now. Well, not all of it.
When I write these blogs, I know, and am humbled, that many people read them. I have family, close friends and complete strangers who read this mental upchuck. I regret that I didn’t start writing earlier but I suspect my songs and music filled that void up until the stroke. I know that all that I am is a result of all I have and have not been. Had I done things differently, I would be a different version of myself. That’s hard to get my damaged brain around. When I start to feel sad, I try to breathe it in, knowing it will become me in a more complete way.
If there were a “How to” manual for life, I bet it would be much simpler than we think.
Rule #1: BE THERE. In everything. Look around. Breath it in. Thank whatever higher power you believe in for the chance. The chance to live it and be a part.
Rule#2: Don’t worry so much about Why. Spend time on the How and live. The Why may come. Or maybe it won’t. Or maybe, you get to see slight glimpse now and again. Like seeing something in your peripheral but when you turn to focus
on it, it’s not there. Or if it’s there (it is), it blends in with everything else, making it impossible to see it alone, no matter how you focus or squint. Perhaps those are the moments when we are given glimpses of Why but fail to recognize it is made up of many things, and is elusive and provocative so that we must refer back to rule Number 1.
Rule #3: Make connections, with people, places, ideas (careful with that one) and invest in them.
Rule #4: Make your OWN rules. Then break them occasionally to remind yourself that rules keep us from taking risks.
Simple enough. I know. Living with reckless abandon is irresponsible. It bothers the rule followers. I think it scares them. Or makes them envious, or guilty, or ashamed. That’s okay because they have their own story. You get to write your own.
Once upon a time……..