Whenever any of us face an obstacle or a detour in life, it’s good to try and find the positive in the experience. Doing so not only lifts our spirits and yields a glimmer of hope, but sometimes provides the opportunity to reflect. I’ve spent some of my days while confined pondering this wake-up call, what it means, what I can change. And while I’m not yet finished with my stint as a blogging hermit, I have gained clarity about what I wish for myself once I’m up and dancing once again.
So here’s my wishes, a brief but not necessarily complete list to add to my life, once the current hermit-like existence is retired for good. You may notice these can’t be bought, but are experiences that can only be sought, and only with intent. None of these will come easily unless I accept their possibilities and let go of obstacles in my path.
- I wish to learn more about clouds and their shapes, what they mean when they do their heavenly dance up there. Then I want to lie on green grass for hours and just stare at the them, and let my mind decide what their shapes remind me of, like I used to do when I was an idle youth.
- I wish never to lose this newly gained slower pace of life. Why do we have to be knocked down with a proverbial 2×4 to understand that life doesn’t have to be measured by how much we get done in one day, by the bulge of our bank accounts, or the number of pages in our resumes?
- I wish never to return to the days of loud alarm clocks and panicked feet racing through showers and suits just to make a commute on time. I like my new early mornings of leisure breakfasts and casual readings of paper and email.
- I wish to continue becoming better friends with the residents of my bookcases and lose myself in the pages of long-ago-bought but little-read volumes of joy and sadness and wonder found in those magic pages with all the funny little marks.
- I wish to be available to help friends and family who’ve supported me through this without complaint. There is no substitute for such support from any service or stranger. Nothing works as well as having those close to you close to you during hard times.
- I wish to accept that music, nature, writing, and reading are not only enjoyable pursuits but basic requirements for my sanity. And thus I wish to make sure that my life, from now forward, has daily doses of all of them.
- I wish to stop thinking about and dwelling over those parasitic shoulda-dogmas of my past and stay present-minded in today. If life is about the journey and not the destination, then what benefit is there in looking backwards or wondering what’s around the corner? Here, now, is all that counts and all that ever really counted.
- I wish to repair friendships of the past, nurture those of the present, and cultivate more in the future. Next to health, the depth and breadth of friendships significantly impact one’s quality of life more than any remaining influence.
- And finally, I wish to accept that no journey is pleasurable if the vehicle cannot go the distance. Health is more valuable than all the gold and jewels in the world, for without it there is no journey of happiness, no pleasure in being present-minded. You can read about the wonders of the world from the comfort of an armchair, but that’s knowledge not experience. No movie or documentary replaces the real-world experience of being there, no matter where “there” is. Thus, I wish to give my body and mind the opportunity to carry me through the wonders of my journey ahead.
If I could compare this list to those I’ve created in the past, I doubt there would be any similarity. We often wish for riches, or a better job, a nicer house, a better car. Those things are tangible and subject to decline, disrepair, and rust. I haven’t mentioned where I’d like to live, or how, because at this point those aspects are not critical. If I don’t embrace the essence of the list above, it won’t matter where or how I live because I’ll simple be repeating mis-steps of the past. And it’s not that my life has been a criminal waste, far from it. But the glory tends to be in the details, in that last ten percent of how we live our lives, and I believe and hope through making these wishes come true I can bridge that final ten percent.