My mantra for 2016:
Today’s the day!
Do you have a saying, song, image or word, that brings you back to earth or rockets you into space?
Don’t let what you might do in six months decide today. You might not live that long.
This I wrote after gazing at my newly printed January-June 2016 calender, excited over the already-filled in dates, the lists and schedules I’ve committed to, and oh so many possibilities for summer 2016 when my obligations here are complete!
Forget it, Miss Keene. Sure, plans and goals give life meaning. Keep you going when life’s a mushy pile.
But really—isn’t today the best day you’ve ever lived?
Granted, not all days are. Some are the worst. Yet, today, today is the best ever and I intend to enjoy it to the fullest.
The most amazing thing you can find is yourself.
I’m constantly obsessed with upping my game. Improving my score, strengthening my swing (Steven Pressfield). And I don’t even play sports! (Unless you count being a Nerd Jockey.) My FOMO (fear of missing out) escalated with the recent deaths of my dear brother and two best friends. What if I, like they, die in three months notice, or within hours of notice?
I want to be ready! Time’s awastin’.
I strew notes to self, while reading Elon Musk, Richard Branson, and Diana Nyad; not that I’m likely to become an astronaut or ocean swimmer, but these folks are so waaay out there. My greatest deathbed fear is that I’ve lived below my potential. As paralyzing as box jellyfish (just ask Diana).
Find a way! says Diana, who swam from Cuba to Florida at age 64, on her fifth attempt. In her teens as a competitive swimmer, she did 1000 sit-ups per day, training hard for eight years without a day off, while her coach was secretly molesting her. No excuses, this girl.
I’m really not going to change much and that’s knowing myself, not making excuses. I’m currently out of epiphanies, ahas, ravenous passions. Maybe I used up my quota.
I think Oprah and her posse are mistaken to preach, “find your passion/life purpose/calling”. It’s all marketing, book sales, cable TV and Tony Robbins seminars. (I used to be into the self-help human potential thang. Even Wayne Dyer died recently.)
I’ve answered a “priestly call” (in training I discerned not to enter the Episcopal church business), and at other times was “meant to be” a composer, traveler, wife and mother (miscarried and divorced), performer, humanitarian. I haven’t grasped there may be no such thing as calling lightly.
Except the calling to be myself, any given moment. Today is the best day of my life; as will tomorrow be, if tomorrow comes.
I’m not a victim of fate, genes, or circumstances. I say this as one who has encountered some of the worst things a human can. Violence, betrayal, illness, loss.
At the same time, I’ve encountered the best in life: friends, deep love, opportunity.
These days I’m materially less successful than my youthful self thought I’d be by now. My choices evolved.
Recently, I’ve come to outlive all my next of kin. I really didn’t program that to happen until I was at least 80!
I’ve been wrong about many things; I’ve been foolish and critical. I think I still am and I consider it all good stuff. Being myself is the best I can be.
And as I’ve written before, People are the Thing. Recently within weeks, my favorite dog, and then a best friend, and then my brother who’d been given three months, all passed away. They transitioned. Law of threes? I don’t know. These things do seem to happen in clusters.
I find life futile and meaningless and consider lying down for a very long nap. But hey, I love experiments too, so why not stay awake and see what’s next on the play list?
OK, fine; I will.