“Love bravely, live bravely, be courageous, there’s really nothing to lose. There’s no wrong you can’t make right again, so be kinder to yourself. You know, have fun, take chances. There are no bounds.” ~Jewel
here are days when I feel ancient; where the grind of daily living (in the United States) presses hard on the psyche and soul. Achievement, being “professional,” having a career is all fine well dandy, but it can sometimes be taken too far.
We are not machines. If anything, I think we are more like candles than machines. And if time truly only marches in one direction, then we must protect the light burning in each and every one of us.
Three years ago my light was almost extinguished, but the universe was handing out miracles and I was granted one. So I can tell you with 100% certainty that life is both precious and short. And this isn’t something to be feared or worried about – it should be celebrated – and one way to honor the gift of your life and your time living is to be really good to yourself. And for me, a person living this second life, being good to myself meant remembering – and then reconnecting – to people, places, and things that simply make me happy.
We achieve what we set our attention and focus upon and lose what we no longer pay attention to
For me, it meant making room in my life for activities and interests long neglected. One of those activities was music. I had spent most of my youth (and early adult life) steeped in all things music (flute playing; classical, jazz, whatever). I even went to school based on music, but at some point, having to “get on with life,” aka grow up, I lost touch with it, I abandoned it.
What we focus upon, we now find…
And fifteen years later, I reconnected with music, falling in love with it all over again. Once I had a great reason (celebrating still being alive), the how quickly fell in place. Things started to show up: a rare vintage flute from 1878 arrived at life’s doorstep, music kept 20+ years in my library was brought alive again, connections with musicians (some old and familiar to me, others new) arrived into my social circle and one of the world’s best flute teachers takes me on as an adult student.
There’s still only seven days in a week, yet time made room for all of this. And the really interesting thing is: I’m a far better musician than I could have imagined becoming, learning for the sake of learning, and playing for the simple joy of it. When you start to feel good in one area – it’s contagious. It spreads to other areas… And as my health improved and as the months’ tick by steeped in appreciation and joy connected to an old loved pastime, it spilled over into other areas of my life – personally and professionally.
“Successful technologies often begin as hobbies. Jacques Cousteau invented scuba diving because he enjoyed exploring caves. The Wright brothers invented flying as a relief from the monotony of their normal business of selling and repairing bicycles.” ~Freeman Dyson
Games are for kids? Fun should be a life-long endeavor…
Remember how you used to love fill-in-the blank? Remember how you’d tell yourself: “I don’t have time…I’ll pick it up later?” Don’t abandon what was once loved. Time will make itself available. There is no tomorrow and no better time than right now.