It’s Not the Years in Your Life That Count.
It’s the Life in Your Years.
(Who knows you wrote this, everyone is claiming it!)
A few weeks ago a friend of mine told me a story that I have been thinking about constantly during these past few days.
It was a brief tale about a 93-year-old grandmother. And this is how I imagined the story to unfold:
Every year this grandmother purchases a daily calendar. She hangs it on the wall and fills in each square with something she looks forward to.
Whether it be a visit from her grandchildren; a dinner with family; an outing to the local shops; the purchase of a special-occasion dress; writing a letter to a friend; sipping fresh peppermint tea; watching the moon at night; listening to the sound of the ocean; crunching Autumn leaves beneath her feet… or doing absolutely nothing. Every day is something new, something special, something beautiful.
I realised as I was picturing this woman filling in her calendar, that this is what I do too. Perhaps not in such a structured way, but I ensure that my diary is full to the brink with experiences and connections. Some would say I do too much. And some would be right. Some would say they don’t know how I fit my life into my life. Some would be right. Some would tell me to rest. And I do listen. But as I write this and look out of my window at the beautiful Chinese Elm shedding its Autumn gown, I realise that this is exactly what keeps me alive, joyful and excited about life. The beauty in every day.
Each morning I awaken with the questions:
- Who shall I visit?
- What postures shall I be teaching?
- What book shall I read?
- Where shall I be going?
- What food shall I taste?
- What shall I learn?
- With whom shall I connect for the first time?
- … and what shall I see that makes me ‘stand still’ in awe?
Another name for these imaginings? Being present….
Yes, I have challenges along the way…some that tear at my heart. However, to lay the emotions that come into play with these challenges aside, and to allay any fear that may be associated with them, I simply play a beautiful piece of music, look at a gorgeous photograph, ring a friend for a chat, eat chocolate, pick up a book or create another story, a story that takes me into ‘happy world’.
Yes, sometimes I get those pangs of ‘what if’? But as another friend of mine said to me many years ago, these pangs are just ‘fright bubbles’. And so when they come, I burst them with a giant, carefree pin.
Getting back to the grandmother…..what does she say to herself every time she looks at the calendar to see what she is doing today?
Not ready yet!
Thank you Annemaree for yet another inspirational posting. It is so generous of you to share your thoughts and experiences, and those who read them are all the richer. For me, they are a highlight in my journey of life. I read and re read some, as I use points to enrich and direct my days. This one, like a gratitude journal, is a gem.
How I wish you could get these messages across to the young, anxious teenagers, who could find these strategies, if used, improve the way they feel about themselves and add quality to their lives.
Thank you. Helen x