Thoughts on life and death…

Since putting it out there that I am caught in this supernatural bubble of peace, a lot has happened to challenge The Bubble and make it disappear.  Despite the tone of the current post, I must add that The Bubble is still intact.

Also, during the past couple of days, I’ve taken a huge step toward “acceptance”, if you will, and decided to stop colouring my hair.  I started going grey around the age of 16 and have been colouring my hair for 20-odd years.  I guess I finally just became tired of spending hours every 3 weeks to hide what is essentially a natural part of who and what I am.  The journey from (artificial) flaming redhead to……I don’t know what, but which will involve a lot of greys, is one that I am somewhat cautious but mostly excited about.  I have, for the moment, set my mind on embracing the change and just going with it.  I’ve also reached a point where I no longer care about what others may say or think.  My life, my journey.

There is a certain freedom that comes with this acceptance.  I suppose I’ve wasted a lot of time trying to figure out who I am and where I fit in.  It’s almost like I’ve been fighting my whole life and now I’ve just decided to go with the stream and see where it takes me.  Freedom…

I’ve often thought about the time I worked with Joel and, more often than not, I wished that I had been older, wiser and more attentive to all the conversations we had. 

It feels like a hundred lifetimes ago when my first employer told me about Tuesdays with Morrie.  If you’ve not yet read this masterpiece by Mitch Albom, I highly recommend it.  Today I started reading it again, and it is still as profound and moving as the first time I read it.  Every time I read it, something else stands out.

I don’t know if it is simply because of “where” I am at the moment or if it is something deeper that I am yet to discover, but the one chapter really got to me this time around.

If you had the choice to know exactly when you would die, would you take it?  Would you want to know the exact day when your time on earth was to expire?  Further, if you had the choice between a long, slow death or a sudden final line being drawn, which would you choose?

“Once you learn how to die, you learn how to live.  You strip away all that stuff and you focus on the essentials.  When you realize you are going to die, you see everything much differently.  The better approach is to be prepared for it at any time.  That way you can actually be more involved in your life while you’re living”

Tuesdays with Morrie – Mitch Albom

We are all dying.  It is a fact we can not avoid, nor deny.  What if we lived as if we knew we were to die, let’s say, next Monday?  How would we do things differently?  Really think about it for a second…

Would that new car you had your eye on still be as appealing?  Would that pair of boots you had an argument over with your partner still be as important?  What about that promotion you were fighting for?  Yes, I agree that those things might be important, but, and here is the big question, is it really important enough to steal from the joy you have to be alive today??

Does it really matter that much?

Recently I started a morning routine which includes making a cup of coffee and slowly sipping it while I stroll through my garden.  Before cellphones and work and news and traffic becomes a part of my day, I take time to listen to the birds and soak up the smell of jasmine and lavender and soil.  I just sit there and soak it all up, banishing all thoughts of bills and to-do lists and worries and cares; just filling my spirit appreciation and gratitude for all of my blessings.  Life is so uncomplicated in that time.

After reading this piece in Tuesdays with Morrie, I am drawn to look at the things I would do differently if I knew when I would die.  Studying, working, saving, fighting for a “bigger, better” place in the world, to make my mark and leave a legacy of….what?

Or, would I pursue the things that brought more of the joy and blissful peace I am experiencing at the moment?

But stop.  I am dying.  I already know I am.  You are, too.

So what are we waiting for?  What is stopping us from doing the things we would do if we had this knowledge of when we were to move on?

Would you stop working and travel to destinations far away?  Would you spend more time with your children, teaching them life and love and relationships and social responsibilities? I have never been overly materialistic, but I am also not naïve.  I know that I need to work in order to live.  I know that we have responsibilities and duties and things that happen along the way, but surely we can find ways to do all these things that “must” be done, while in pursuit of the things that really matter.

I think, when we find our purpose, we naturally follow a path in line with that purpose, and that is where the magic happens.  Following the driving force within that leads us on a path of discovery and acceptance, that is where we learn to be more involved in the life we are living and we stop the never-ending rat race that leads nowhere in the end

Following that path is, I think, ultimately, the one where we can go toward death with open arms and live with no regret.