There are moments you don’t necessarily ask for that blast into your life on a freight train. I experienced two recently. One was as simple as a beach yoga class on Cape Cod that I took with my sister. The other was a surprise reunion with an old friend I hadn’t seen since I was a girl.
Both confirmed in me who I am, as well as a renewed determination to be the best person I can be in this, my one and only life.
We run at breakneck speed from the time we are out of school into the working world. The pace picks up with marriage and kids, the care of aging parents, and attendance at jobs we do or don’t like, but have to make a daily appearance at anyway.
If we’re lucky, we have amassed over time a list of things we like to do and people we like to see, all serving to help us make choices as life marches on. But it can be easy to forget how short life really is as the routine becomes entrenched, steady as the seasons that roll from one year to the next.
Suddenly, you find yourself in midlife, wondering where it all went. Sometimes, if you are lucky, you have a seminal moment or two like I did to force assessment of those most basic of choices. Are they still the right ones? Were they ever? Where do I go from here?
A few weeks ago I was visiting my sister’s beach house on a break from the avalanche of work and responsibility that often steamrolls me. One morning, we woke early for a beach yoga class and, with about 50 other people standing in the warm sand, raised our arms to the sun in a sort of physical and spiritual awakening.
It was a simple moment tinged with magic before a rhythmic, sparkling sea that made me feel really alive for the first time in a while. A few days later, I was thrilled to run into my friend after so many years, sharing memories from long-ago times when our worlds were still ahead of us, waiting to be explored.
Times change, and people change, but inside they are pretty much the same. We are all hopeful for a good and rewarding life filled with true happiness, eager to make a difference in the lives of others, and intent on carving out something unique that will be a lasting, personal legacy.
Finding your passion is what makes each day worth living in this, the one-and-only life you will ever have. The whole concept prompts questions that I plan to think deeply about. Am I living as well as I should? Have my choices made me happy? Is there something that needs to change?
The one thing I know, and want to share, is that the time to assess it is now, while there is still plenty of life to be lived. I want to be able to look back when I am old and know I did everything I could to live the best life for me. That I found my passion, lived and loved well, and left something lasting behind me.
When it comes down to it, does anything else matter?