"Beware the barrenness of a busy life." Socrates
I am beginning to think that most of what I learned about responsibility and life is wrong... for me. I am not into the things I was told were the things to achieve. A big house, a shiny new car, expensive clothes, and stuff like that.
I have been very fortunate in my life. I have sailed through hurricanes and star filled nights. I have seen phosphorescent trails follow our ship in the ocean at night. I have travelled through Europe, the Caribbean, the United States, and Canada. I have been entertained in grand houses and had a glass of water in a one room home. I have ridden in very expensive and powerful cars and I have walked with people who had holes in their shoes. I have had meals and drinks in exclusive restaurants. I have shared a bottle rum with a rummy in the streets of Halifax and a bottle of wine with a wino in a park in Bergen, Norway.
I have made a lot of mistakes. I have made people unhappy. I have disappointed people. I have made myself unhappy. I have disappointed myself. I have done some things I knew were wrong. I have stopped traffic on the 403 to help a lost dog get to safety (I got yelled at by a policeman for that). I have stopped traffic on the Bi-highway outside Halifax to help a mother duck get her babies to safety.
But... the biggest mistake I made with or in my life was to believe someone else's story of what my future and my life should be.
I started questioning the story I believed when I went searching for a little boy who got lost in the woods not far from his home. We searched for a week. The search ended sadly.
The night the search ended there was a barbecue at my house. It had been planned for weeks. (I was the only person there who had gotten involved in the search.) It had been planned for weeks. I was a gracious host even though I wished nobody had come and wanted everybody to leave. I was pleased when the last guest left. My wife, at that time, went to bed and left me sitting on the deck. I was glad to be alone at last.
I sat there quietly drinking a beer. I finished it and had another. I sat down and looked up into the star filled sky, the big eternity of space. I asked a question I hadn't asked since I was fourteen. "Is this all there is?" My answer when I was fourteen was "No." My answer ten years later was "No!"
I still ask that question. It doesn't matter how well or poorly my life is going my answer is still "No!" In fact, as I have gotten older the "NO!" has gotten louder.
I don't care how old you are. I don't care how young you are. I don't care what you do for a living. I don't care how much you earn. I don't care if you are wealthy, getting by or poor. I don't care if you are healthy or sick. Ask yourself that question. "Is this all there is?" Follow it with this question "Do you have a sense of purpose and satisfaction with your life?" If you answer "No" to both questions you have something to think about. If you answer yes to either question I congratulate you, am pleased for you and wish you the best. I don't envy you because that is your life, not mine.
My ideal life is to live simply, express the gratitude I feel, enjoy the wonder of the world, help others where possible, be kind to nature and animals, be kind to people and to enjoy life. This has always been my true nature even though I lost my way at times. I am sorry that I haven't lived up to it all my life.
You may think this is a simplistic, unreal, "Pollyanna attitude" or foolish dream but for me it is not. In fact I have met other people who feel the same way.
Last week I was in Barbados. I was sitting in a beach front bar and talking with the waiter. He has friends and family who emigrated to Canada and live around the GTA in Ontario. He told me they all make more money than him but they aren't as happy as he is. He wears a T-shirt and shorts every day. He has friends and family in Barbados that he has time to see. He has visited his friends and family in the GTA. He doesn't understand the big houses, mortgages, the busyness or the lifestyle. He has no desire to emigrate to Canada or leave Barbados permanently.
How will I achieve my dream life? I will continue to work with my low stress, easy Send Out Cards business (www.sendoutcards.com/danwrites) and my writing.
In closing here are a few quotes to encourage you.
"We do not remember the days, we remember the moments." Cesare Pavese
"The price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it." Henry David Thoreau
"Open your eyes, look within. Are you satisfied with the life you're living?" Bob Marley
Thanks for taking the time from your valuable life to drop by and read this.
All the best,