When she reached out to me this time around, I was delighted. I eagerly responded to her email message and she then replied with the lowdown on what she's been doing since we last met. And then it was my turn. And something odd happened. I found that I didn't know what to say. I, the word nerd who enjoys nothing more than communicating with others, fell silent. I hemmed and hawed and started writing in my head, but still I left her hanging.
So I asked myself why. And after much thought, I discovered that I was embarrassed. Because on paper, my life sounds inconsequential. I don't have big milestones and events to talk about. I've never married nor had kids. I haven't travelled much in recent years. I've never published a book or run a marathon or accomplished some other great feat. I've lived a small, simple life without much grandeur or excitement.
And yet, what I've come to realize, and want to express to my friend, is that I have also lived a life that is big and full, and in its own way, exciting to me. Some hard knocks have held me back along the way, but looking back, I now see that
there is reason to celebrate the mundane and cheer for the everyday. Just as beauty is in the eye of the beholder, fulfilment is in the heart of the individual. I can be satisfied in knowing that:
- I have read words that have changed the way I see the world.
- I have written words that have helped me understand myself.
- I have cooked healthy meals that have nourished my body. And decadent meals that have nourished my soul.
- I have walked many miles on the streets (and in the winter, on the rivers) of my city.
- I have seen beautiful plants and flowers flourish under my care.
- I have relished, oh so many times, the simple, life affirming pleasure of snuggling with my cat.
- I have enriched my brain with movies and books and puzzles and conversation.
- I have taken the time, while I have it, to reinforce my bond with my parents.
- I have stared in awe at the moon and the stars.
- I have loved and laughed and danced and cried tears of both joy and sadness.
I have lived. And that is all that matters.