Friday, December 5, 2008

The hardest part is coming up with a clever title everyday.

Last week I went to my Book Group.

I have a love/hate relationship with my book group. Sometimes it’s fun and enlightening, other times it’s dull and a drag. Last week it was good—and not just because my book groupies remembered my birthday (but they did, and it was super sweet and they even got me a gift, which I totally did NOT deserve.  They also did not humilate me by having the entire staff at Chili's sing Happy Birthday cha!cha!cha!, thus making them truly the BEST Book Group EVER).

Our book last month was The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch. I wasn’t that excited about it, I had seen part of the lecture on PBS and wasn’t that impressed. I did end up reading it though and I was glad, it was a quick read and actually not too bad. What I was especially drawn to was the idea of being able to prepare for your death. It made me really think about the concept of what if…. What if I knew I only had, say 3 months to live? What things would I want to finish? What would I want my family to know? And how would I want to spend my days?

For the past 6 months off and on I have been reading Bird by Bird (Anne Lamott). It’s a great book. In it she writes about writing as if you are dying. What would you want to leave behind? What kinds of stories would you want to make sure wouldn’t be forgotten?

Is the universe trying to tell me something? Nah.

All of the members of my book group are mothers. We often find ourselves comparing horror stories, relaying our maternal exhaustion to one another, or just offering that “been there, you’ll live” kind of support. Women can be hard on each other and even harder on ourselves, so last week as we discussed the book and tried to reconcile the idea of “living in the moment” while “crossing everything off our to-do lists” I wondered if it is even possible? I don’t think I’m dying, but it couldn’t hurt to live like I am a little more. I mean, technically we’re all dying. It just takes some of us longer. I don’t think you can literally live each day like it’s your last, though some people do, they are so carefree and spontaneous (which is also sometimes known as “irresponsible”), but I do believe it’s possible to find a balance between embracing the day and preparing for the future, possible, but, at least in my case, hard to do.

I want to be “joyful”, but sometimes I just don’t think it’s my nature. Sarcastic, yes. Joyful? I’m working on it. Do you think we can change our natures? Some days I think so, other days (when I am completely worn out from life) I think not. I’m trying anyway. Things happen and you can either cry and make it all worse or laugh and get over it, I definitely believe that the way we react to things makes all the difference. I think most of the time I am pretty good at finding the humor in things and not dwelling on the negative (yeah, yeah, I was singing a different song yesterday--I’m over it, keep up), but I could be a lot better about being realistic in my expectations of what really counts in the long run.

How about you, do you balance well? Have you always? Do you know people who do? Talk to me.

1 comment:

Ward and June said...

I think that it is very important to remember how fragile life is. And in knowing that everything could end at any moment we are left in the precarious position of balancing enjoying life to the fullest at the moment, and living a life that will be worthy of rememberance by the ones we love.

It is our duty, and the meaning of life (in my humble opinion) to find this balance and live the best fullest life that we can.