“With age, gone are the forevers of youth. Gone is the willingness to procrastinate, delay, to play the waiting game. Now each day is a treasure beyond compare . . . because there are so few such diadems left.”
― Joe L. Wheeler
I have a friend who is a truly beautiful woman. Brilliant, brave, resolute, she reminds me of a warrior queen, or lioness. She is a wonderful example of determinism, of commitment and loyalty to a vision. For her, failure is not an option. Truth is, I would never mess with her, but this does not come from fear. It comes from the joy of knowing her. She believes in doing the right thing – for her family, her faith, her community. Working with her is an inspiration.
Recently, my friend shared the anxiety of turning 70, next year. I found myself saying that is getting up there. It didn’t come off very eloquently, but what I was really trying to say is that I got the dilemma of embracing aging even if one felt much younger.
Truth be known, I feel my friend’s underlying anxiety. At 58, I feel like 25, yet contemplate often that life could end in a second. My parents are in their 80’s, but they too seem younger. It is hard to get past the reality that someday, sometime, all of us will pass in the continuum called time.
But where does that leave us?
For most of my 58 years, I lived life thinking there was always tomorrow. Call it arrogance, but you get the point. Our mortality becomes increasingly clear with the passing of time. It’s possible, true, that there are realities such as reincarnation that give credence to lives beyond this one, but whether true or not, we pass this way as who we are only once.
My friend wonders at her legacy, but I see such sweetness in the one she offers in the way she lives her life.
Here are the ten possibilities for a life well lived:
- Go at life fully. Embrace your responsibilities and dreams. Take on the ones you fear the most.
- Do the thing you want to do even if you fail at it. Who cares if you look stupid?!? It’s more important to try than to wonder why you never did.
- Love like there is no tomorrow. Passion has the power to transform a human being, and a life.
- Leave no room, absolutely no room, for regrets.
- Tell your kids, your grandkids, your parents, your partner or spouse, the people you love the most, that they matter. Indisputably.
- Eat chocolate. As much as you want.
- Smell a rose. And then another.
- Adopt that dog or cat that needs a home.
- Share time with friends, in travel, over good food, in sweet remembrance. Bask in every moment doing so.
- Reflect often so you never forget the importance of living fully.
My recent encounter with my friend teaches me about embracing life. Life is a gift. So are friends like her. It is the treasure beyond compare.