Well, we finished up the Thanksgiving holidays. Little Drummer Boy’s Fall break at school was the catalyst for some time away from home. A change of scenery is usually good for a change of perspective, too. Plus, the fresh air and clear skies of the family farmland doesn’t hurt either. I’m always amazed at how much clearer things sound when you’re surrounded by pasture and how much crisper the light is when there isn’t the competition of street lights.
Thanksgiving and my 12 days of posting was a worthwhile experience. As it always is. Looking back through some of the posts, I can easily see how valuable it is to focus my attention on blessings — to consciously look for and recognize the elements of life that bring me joy. Recognizing that joy helps me focus my attention. Through the last 12 days I’ve realized once again how important it is to take responsibility for defining my own life of joy and bringing that life into clearer focus by setting my own priorities.
I have one life. I have to make that real. In fact, I’m the only one who can make it real. And let’s face it; a life lived in pursuit of someone else’s dream is just pretending. It’s a waste.
If I am to make this one life one of meaning, it is imperative that I hear the clear ping of my own heart telling me what is important — what is required to make that life real and valuable. It is imperative that I maintain a crisp view rather than a hazy picture of what that life should be. And that takes discipline and soul-searching and some hard choices. But it’s worth it if I want to have the assurance that I spent my life living rather than waiting to live it. Hoping to live it. Thinking about living it. Imagining living it.
So, I’ve been thinking. What are the shadow areas of my life? What are the areas where I am content with the mere outlines and silhouettes of the real thing? Life goals and themes change over time. Once again, it’s time to decide. What do I want my life to be? What do I want my children to see or expect when they prepare to live their lives?
Tough questions. Ones that are not always easily answered. More challenging still, at times, are the choices required to follow through with making my answers materialize. It requires courage and resolve and a clear understanding that this life — my life — is worth it.
We can choose to exist. To simply subsist. But that isn’t enough for me. I don’t want to poorly invest the one life with which I’m blessed. So, I must define my own terms for it. And dare to reject anything that pulls me away from that true life. Anything that clouds the picture of a life lived to its fullest.