Life, for some, revolves around work and play and family.
For others, it’s about meals and sleeps and workouts.
For everyone – these ingredients have importance, and how we deal with them gives structure to how we live a life, plan a day, or build a career – but these formulae do not seem up to the task of making a life as they do for making a living.
We all witness happiness in others; you know the kind, where we see laughter and joy, harmony and logic woven together by those we respect as leaders in our community, our organizations, our professions, and families: they look like what successful lives and relationships ought to look like. Which is not to say there is a definition of what successful lives and relationships are – but we have an image, mostly illusion, of what those lives and relationships look like from the inside. Or, instead, what they look like for them looking out at us.
The more I think about this, and I admit to having spent way too much time in my life thinking about this – I have come to the view that happiness in life is moments.
Moments of clarity, moments of magic, and moments of delirium – recalled in an instant. I have these moments from so many stages of my life, imprinted more deeply than so many memories. Magic, electric, emotional highs, and these make my life whole – make it survivable. I would not be here without them, I cannot live without them, I cannot forget them.
And I don’t want to lose them.
When I read about people losing it through variations of dementia and aging, memory loss, and failure of their cognitive abilities – it isn’t the deterioration I see as daunting, as much as the loss of magic memory moments.
Everyone has obvious ones – birth of children, of grandchildren, first jobs, first businesses, first marriages, first divorces, and firsts of so many other kinds. Seconds and thirds less euphoric and/or less devastating. Getting used to things diminishes the peaks and valleys.
I’ll keep those firsts, the obvious ones, but there are so many other moments in life that are firsts because they are the ‘only’ event, the one-off … or one-of, depending on your preference for one term or the other.
Mine are personal, private, and permanent. Not for sharing. But for savoring. Most of us have no outlet for those, but the fiction writer can exhibit them – places and names changed, of course, but the experiences relived on a page. Lucky me.
What does your life revolve around?
Is it a passion for things, or people; is it your passion, or somebody else’s?
“What [why?] can’t we do both?” I’ve been thinking a bit about people I’ve dealt with in our shared profession whose purpose appears to be simple, blind ambition. Purpose in itself is not enough, RH, Calgary, AB
Mark, love it. I’d guess we all remember different things and different amounts of things, but I also remember special moments no one else remembers (even when they were there - photographic evidence), LH, Lethbridge, AB