December 15

I don't want to get to the end
of my life and find that I lived
just the length of it.  I want to
have lived the width of it as well.

Diane Ackerman


Today's Meditation:

It's easy to get caught up in seeing just the road on our journeys through life.  We can look at our lives as one long road from birth to death, and unfortunately, that's how many people live it--as a long, straight road that gets from here to there in the most direct way possible, without much room for exploration or deviation.  We get caught up in getting to the next point--finishing the degree, getting the new job, having the kid, waiting for the kid to finish high school--that we forget to stop, look around, and see all that's around us at any given point along the road.

The truth is that there's a lot around us all the time that's just begging to be explored, that's just waiting to offer us itself for our pleasure and enjoyment.  Beautiful scenery, fun events, interesting highlights, scary adventures, new things to see and learn and feel and explore.  That's what the width of life is--the side roads that help us to define ourselves as something more than just another set of feet on the road most traveled.

We are creating the lives now that we'll look back on when we reach the end of our lives.  The decisions that we make today will contribute to our overall experience here on this planet, and when we reach the end of life, the reasons for those decisions won't be nearly as important as what we decided.  Did we decide to play things safe and not take any risks, not visit any places that aren't on the straight and narrow?  Or did we decide to live the width of our lives, too, even if others warn us that it may not be such a great idea?

I have a hunch that when I reach the end of my life, I'm going to look back on the chances that I've taken as the highlights of my life--that I'll see that living the width will have provided me with the kinds of memories that will allow me to smile in satisfaction rather than sigh in regret.

Questions to consider:

Do you live the width of your life?  How might you do so?

How do you see the width of your life?  What is it composed of?

Why do so many people stay so glued to the direct route on the straight and narrow road, seeming to look neither to the right nor the left?

For further thought:

The things that are most worthwhile in life
are really those within the reach
of almost every normal human being
who cares to seek them out.

Charles B. Forbes

More on life.


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