Lately I have been more reflective than usual. It started a few months ago and has grown with time. I have been reflecting on my job/career, relationships, etc. Last week pushed me to a new level. I attended a prayer service for a former work colleague. He was my age roughly with family still in their growing years. He had bravely endured an insidious condition for a few months before succumbing. His prayer service was attended by many. This caused me to dig even deeper into questions about my life so far.
- Am I focused on the right things in my life?
- Can I consider my life well lived so far?
- What is a well lived life?
- What are the right things to focus on?
There are pretty straight forward answers to most of these without getting too deep into the "meaning of life". But I can sympathize with those that search for the deeper answers. No one wants to squander their one shot on this planet. We want to leave some sort of legacy. Some kind of mark that we were here. Think about it, the basic symbol most leave behind is a grave marker of some type. So and so was here. They mattered to someone, or somebody.
Then it happened. Today I was reading articles on my iPad and drinking coffee. After I had made my second cup, I was wandering around the beach house my father in law owns and we luckily get to benefit from. As I went over to a group of shelves a huge feeling of melancholy came over me. There on the shelves were pictures of family members at different points in time. My kids, wife, sisters and brother in law, mother and father in law, etc. many of these 10 to 15 years old and older. I stood and looked. And then cried. I cried like I had just lost them. In a sense they were lost, but only in time. Which is my point. Time just moves along. I can't stop it. No one can. There are no do overs. Scary, right?
Navigating the current world I live in can at times be a bit overwhelming. But I have gotten just a bit wiser. I have realized at least that I have to be more aware that moments will come and go. Even though I realize this, I still say inappropriate things, I still hurt the ones I love. But I can forgive myself and strive to do better. I think I have gotten better over time.
So am I focusing on the right things? I think so. One thing I do want is to make sure I don't have some burning desire to do something that I don't pay attention to. Over the next week, while I am away from work and a normal routine, I hope to discover some new things about myself. I am not sure where that road will take me, but I am looking forward to some self discovery, if even just a small bit. I just don't want to get to the end and not have tried something I always wanted to do. Not really a bucket list, but something deeper, scarier. That is my worst fear. Not having tried.
What about you? What have you discovered about yourself recently?