What’s in a Day? –
I was once asked by someone; “What do you want to do with your life? What are your plans for the future?” I was sitting outside, leaned back and thought for a moment and then surprising my interrogator and myself replied; “I’m doing it. I am content. I have no more plans.” My friend didn’t like my answer because everyone should have something they are striving for. How else can you measure life unless it’s by your accomplishments? As a contemplative wisdom teaches that days are measured by the moments when you are aware of your connectedness to all living things and that the universe is in every experience.
What would you do if today were your last? Martin Luther is reputed to have said, “If I knew the world would end tomorrow, I would plant a tree.” In other words, I would contribute to the beauty of the world and thus the universe. As Marcus Aurelius states in the quote, I would want to live my last day as I hope to live every day; “without frenzy, without apathy, without pretense.”
Random Thoughts –
I am sitting on the couch waiting for a stranger to come and spray something that apparently kills bugs and keeps them out of the house. It’s amazing to me the trust we place in things we are used to and unable to trust others which we’re told will help us, improve us, make us healthier, live longer, etc.
A woman on a counseling webinar I was listening to today said; “It is our response, thoughts, about an experience that shapes our understanding of an event, not the event itself.” It was very Zen and has rattled around in my head all day.
Before my Incarcerated Father’s class last night the guys and I were talking about our day and during the conversation I asked what they had for dinner. They told me pizza and when I inquired what brand they said; “It’s the same type you get served when you’re in grade and high school.” Then one of them piped up; “We ate good tonight!” and the rest of the class agreed. It’s amazing how your circumstances impact the way you measure good and bad, positive and negative, tasty and not so much. Another reminder that I, and you?, take way too much for granted.
Tuesday evening I continued working on a project Beth and I started this weekend. Where we’re working is sloped so it can be tricky making sure everything stays level. The key is never going too far, building too much, getting so involved in completing the project that you don’t take time to make sure everything is level. It’s not difficult. It simply requires placing a tool which measures the angle of whatever its set on.
Not being a handyman, I get excited when the bubble on the level tool is between the two middle lines and frustrated when it isn’t. As I worked past sundown last night I kept checking the angle, the position, to make sure my progress was straight and stable. As I pulled out of the driveway this morning I looked at our project. “Sure seems nice and even,” I said to myself.
I began to reflect about our lives. Too often we’re in a hurry to get through hectic schedules. We’re focused on reaching the goal, accomplishing a feat, getting to the finish line. Stresses, demands, fears, expectations push us to go faster, harder while giving us more and more to do.
The problem is we can become so busy that our life gets out of balance. Without stopping regularly, being still long enough to make sure we are level, positioned correctly, our bodies, minds, emotions and spirits begin to decline.
Wisdom teaches us that one of the keys to a peaceful, contented life is being sure this life “project” we’re working on is balanced, even, on the level.