We are all so blessed to be alive. If you don’t believe me, consider the alternative. As I grow older, more and more people I know are passing on to their next journey. Some are older than I, which softens the blow, while others are younger, hitting home the message that you better enjoy every stinking moment you have here because your moments are finite.
I admit that I had slipped into something of a malaise about life in the past year. I started to become a spectator in some areas of life rather than a participant. I think that’s natural as you go through life. Taking a pause lets you figure out where to go next.
But with fewer and fewer moments to go, long periods of spectating can become wasteful. None of us really knows when that final bell will ring. We close our eyes for a moment, only to find they are closed for good.
I certainly got the message recently. I awoke suddenly last week with a message pounding in my head. It said in no uncertain terms: “Stop waiting for something to happen. Make something happen instead!”
It woke me right out of a dead sleep. I couldn’t shake it. God was certainly giving me a lecture. When Kat finally woke up, I told her about this message I had been sent. Her eyes grew wide and she said, “I got the same message.”
Cue the spooky music.
I suppose this could all be because the wife of a dear friend passed the previous weekend. That certainly made the message make sense. But the added sense of immediacy was awe-inspiring, especially since Kat and I got the same message at the same time.
So, here’s the thing. We all get so immersed in things that absolutely don’t really matter in our lives. I will start with politics. For some, these are scary times. I get it. But to continually bitch about it in endless Facebook posts is a total waste of these moments. No one is listening anyway. If you have friends with the same viewpoints, you’re preaching to the proverbial choir. If you have friends with divergent viewpoints, they aren’t going to suddenly have an epiphany because of a meme you posted.
If you want to make the moments matter, go out and organize protests. Become an activist. Commit yourself to doorbelling or getting the vote out for candidates who align with your beliefs. Just stop wasting precious moments (and energy) bitching and whining.
The same, of course, could be true about life in general. In this hectic world of ours, we rarely stop long enough to soak in the miracle that we are here. Not just breathing and being alive, but knowing that we are. It’s said that we are the only creatures on Earth that have this conscious thought, that we know we exist.
While you’re rolling that around in your head, take an extra moment to realize how lucky we all are to have been born on this planet. It’s the Goldilocks of planets, folks. Not too warm, not too cold. Just right. And it’s freaking beautiful. Sure, we’ve done some damage to it, but again, if you want to fix that wrong, use your time to clean a beach rather than bitch all about plastic on Facebook. Do something to better the world. Talk is cheap, my friends. Action is everything.
In my own life, action means getting off my ass and getting my band out playing more. My band of pirates in one incarnation or another has been a central part of my life for the last 35 years. I have let it slide for a while, trying to keep other folks happy as well. That was the wrong course, so now its full speed ahead on the performing side, including making our first studio recording, which has been on the to-do list for, um, 35 years.
Life, as we all know, or at least should know, is damned short. Wasting a single moment doing anything that you don’t love or which isn’t aligned with who you are is a total waste of time. In the end, it doesn’t matter if other people don’t like you or bitch about you behind your back. Life is not a popularity contest. Life is about living every moment fully and unapologetically, moving to the beat of your own drummer. In the end, you are judged by what you did, not who you know.
With one exception. If you have someone who cares about you – the real you – not that fake person you show others, then spend every moment you can with them, appreciate these moments like they are the precious diamonds they are, and let these people know how much you appreciate the fact that they have chosen to spend their limited time with you.
I saw a movie recently that asked the question: “Who is on your boat?” The people that truly matter are the people you would take with you on an around the world cruise in a small sailboat. These are the people you trust, trust with your life. They are the ones who bring you all the joy, the laughter, the comradery, the love that makes life worth living.
My own crew in this regard is about seven people. This is my tribe. These are the people who make my moments count most. They are the ones that make life worth living.
If you find anyone who loves you – the real you with all your dents and dings – hold onto them for dear life. Let them know that you’re present in that moment, that you are there heart and soul; not distracted by the fact that your hairdresser messed up or the waitress forgot to put your dressing on the side.
Remind yourself that this moment is the only one that is guaranteed in life. The past is the past – let it go. The future is uncertain at best and at worst, a bit of a myth. Cling to now, cling to this moment and wring all the life out of each moment you can.
So when that when that final bell rings and you close your eyes and they don’t open again, you know that life was worth living and that you lived it fully.
In the Emerald City, enjoying the moment,