Tuesday, August 25, 2009

An elephant never forgets, but can be easily pacified by a few peanuts and a warm shower.

I've been thinking a lot about goals lately. In my adult life I've realized their importance and have tried to understand their power to help me form the life that I want and achieve what I put my mind to. A close friend of mine recently achieved one of hers. And I'm very proud of her for it. It reminds me that I need to refocus on mine.

A quote by the writer J.A. Jance I read recently stirred something inside me. She said, “A writer is someone who has written today.” It's been a long time since I wrote. I keep telling myself that this winter is when I will continue on my book. Yeah, the one that I thought was finished. Turns out it needs a lot of work - at least if I'm to believe the “expert” book reviewers I sent it to.

It's been a busy summer for me and I'd be lying if I said I wasn't having the time of my life. People keep telling me that I'm living their dream, spending the summer in a marina with no significant responsibilities, no real worries, save for getting to work on-time and paying the bills. It truly is a blessing to be living in such a city as beautiful as Olympia and to know the people I do. Yes, the life I'm living right now one might say was one of my goals.

But have I forgotten about my other goal? Yes I remember now, the one where a short eight months ago I set out to become a successful writer? Have I lost sight of that?

No, I haven't. I would however say that I've been happily sidetracked enjoying life. Turning good friends into great friends, learning the innocence of a child's laughter, realizing the stark beauty of a sunrise, feeling the warm sunshine and soft afternoon breeze on my face - yes, these are a few of my favorite things. These are things that make me smile and make me happy to be alive. These are things that warm my heart and create not just pleasure, but happiness.

Happiness is what I've always felt life was really about. We all find it in a different place and in different ways. If one can achieve happiness then he has truly achieved something great. Happiness has always been for me at least partly rooted in achieving my goals. Perhaps though instead of wondering if I've lost sight of some of mine I should focus on the ones that I have achieved and be happy in the moment that is now. After all, it's taken my whole life to get here and who am I to waste any second of it. Life is not a race, it's a journey. And the path we take to get there makes all the difference.

The Circus Director isn't allowed to get sick.

There are moments in your life that you know you will either look back on with a smile or a wince. I have recently had two such events in my life and have been lucky enough to know that I will definitely be smiling when I remember them both. The first was health related. After many weeks of playing a guessing game about whether or not I was sick, the results are in and I am most certainly not sick. I was finding it pretty hard to accept that with my diet and my attitude that it could happen to me. But I know that in the end, we are all only human.

The second event in my life was of a much more personal nature and while it won't be discussed in detail here, it will suffice to say that I have never been happier.

It's times like these that we realize our own mortality. Times like these can test the fabric with which we've woven our lives, making it feel like the world is closing in on us, like driving between two semis on the freeway at high speed. When your health is brought into question everything else can become a guessing game. That alone is enough to bring some people to their knees and hang a black cloud over their heads. After all, without our health what do we have?

As much as I'd like to believe that without our health we have nothing, I'm not sure I entirely accept that. While it's true that without a healthy body we will find it very difficult to live our life, it is also true that without those around us who care about us, one can find it hard to cope when something like ill health rears its ugly head. Getting through trying times alone, though not impossible, can be difficult and can make us question ourselves and our own direction in life.

Letting yourself trust someone else is difficult as well. Some of us, once we have lost trust in one person find it extremely hard to trust another. Some of us just have trouble trusting ourselves. We find it difficult to accept that our heart may actually know the right direction to go. Perhaps because it's led us astray in the past. Or perhaps it's because we just don't know how well we actually know ourselves deep down inside.

As strong as we may be inside, we are still only as strong as we let ourselves be. Having your health is a blessing. Having someone who cares about you is also a blessing, and one that many of us take for granted in our lives. Our hearts and our health are intertwined. Times when our health is brought into question remind us that we're mortal. Times when our heart is brought into question remind us that we're human. These times help us realize that our bodies are vessels which need to take us all the way through life and deserve to be taken care of. If only for the simple fact that they contain our hearts. And our hearts may be what makes life all worth living.