To remain in this moment becomes perhaps the closest we can come to ultimate harmony. It’s tricky.
It requires dismissing the past, shunning self-imposed limitations and savoring every ounce of life. Living in the moment also gets a bad rap. That’s what happens when folks jet to Vegas or say yes when they should say no, invoking a Carpe Diem Clause.
The Carpe Diem Clause, however, doesn’t cover gambling losses, lost teeth, lost wages, marriage annulments or penicillin shots.
Brianna Wiest wrote a book called The Truth About Everything. She also wrote a post for Elephant Journal that I wrapped in cheesecloth and hid behind my disc golf bag. It’s 10 questions to ask yourself when you don’t know where your life should go next.
We all know not all who wander are lost and all that, but even a wanderer will check out the stars or watch where the sun rises and sets to maintain some sense of direction.
I meant to do two things with this post:
Answer the questions honestly. No rehearsal. No edits. A stream of consciousness. Some might feel surprising, most might feel boring.
Challenge you to answer, too. Grab the link. Answer truthfully and thoroughly. Hopefully, become exposed to some means of cosmic blueprint you can choose to unfurl or hurl. Please link to Brianna’s post, and to mine.
And check out Brianna on Twitter. It’s a feed you’ll get lost in, but even better than ones that feature cheese recipes. Wait, that’s just me?
1. If you had the life you think you want, what would tomorrow be like?
I’d wake up, down a tall glass of water (actual water, not Brooke Shields). I’d stretch. I’d meditate, before illuminating any screen or chomping one bit of sausage and cheese combination. I’d get a 30-minute run with zero guilt, knowing my inbox is at ground zero.
After a start like that, what isn’t possible?
2. If social media didn’t exist, what would you do differently?
Not a thing. Well, maybe not get lost in Erica Rhodes’ Twitter feed. It wouldn’t do a thing to keep me from wearing a Calvin & Hobbes tie, with jeans and sneakers. It wouldn’t implore me to always hang my keys on the hook.
I’ve never worried about how I’m perceived in social media. Not even once.
3. If nobody would know what you did with the rest of your life, what would you do?
I would write. I would talk. I would congregate and I’d find isolation. I’d follow that morning routine with discourse, with friends and strangers. The line’s so faded between them anyway.
I would meet with writers and coach kids and wrap it up with being a dad, hard. That would energize me.
4. If you died yesterday, what would you most regret?
Definitely, I’d regret that I ate that Whopper in Raleigh. Mostly, how fast I did.
Beyond that, I’d regret not finding peace sooner in life. What could have my life been without the noise? I wish I’d practiced more loving kindness. I wish I saw myself as I do today. I wish I’d stopped, taken a breath.
I wish I’d observed, lived in that small but consequential gap that exists between what happens and how we react to what happens.
5. If you could choose five things that matter most to you, what would they be?
1. Family, immediate and extended. My daughters should meet my grandmother, my aunts, uncles, and cousins. My girls are gifts I’m tasked with watering and pruning so that they can embrace the world.
2. Health. There are no excuses. There’s means, ways, to conquer nearly every ailment against me. And there are healthy ways to cope with those I cannot.
3. Self-compassion. It’s hardest of all to grant it to yourself. I’ve done a lot of things in this life. Letting myself off the hook is just a recent one. I will do what I can, with what I have, where I stand.
4. Compassion to the world. We’re polarized by so much. We struggle to see the similarities. I want to bring awareness to the things we have in common. They bind more than hate separates.
5. Example. I want my girls to see not only a father’s love but love beyond that. We’re supposed to love our children. I want them to see how I interact with the universe and want to be part of it.
5. To what in your life do you feel a subtle, unexplainable “nudge?”
Writing, of course, will always exist for me. Even if my fingers get crimped off in a freak disc golf accident. I want my writing to blend. I want it to reach extremes, to teach, not unlike a gospel or parable, that each of us contains within us essential good and evil.
And to understand that.
6. If you knew nobody would judge you, what would you do with your days?
I’d work hard, unapologetically hard. I’d share ideas. I’d listen to others’. I’d help where I could, and not hinder at all. I’d seek to understand what I don’t agree with. I’d choose compassion over advancement. I’d never again shield how I feel or believe, and never chastise those who don’t agree.
Not even raiders fans.
8. What are you struggling with the most right now?
I struggle most with not maximizing my health. Grace still sits on my lap or leans in for a hug after a tough, physical match. I need to be here for decades more. What’s more tragic than succumbing to health problems you could have conquered?
9. What do you already have going for you at this present moment?
I have peace going for me in the moment.
The only way to get anywhere is from where you are, right? Not relief from what might have plagued me for a while, but peace while navigating. That’s huge. It’s just what I need to undertake this or that to gain traction to where I should go.
10. If you had to live tomorrow on repeat for the rest of your life, what would you do?
If I lived today on repeat, forever … I’d grow accustomed to buffalo sauce.
I’d miss running, and disc golf; also, coaching. Today contained none of that. It had momentum and clarity. It involved accountability, and maybe even some swagger. It flowed along with the Beatles in my ears and clouds overhead.
I’d have pride in what I’ve written, here and for work.
Before the day is through, I’ll want to cook for the girls I love most – and call the one I love who’s off in the mountains. I’ll close the laptop and find something stellar on Netflix and let whoever wants to fall asleep on my shoulder.
I’ll take my saxophone back for a few minutes and let rip a rift. I’ll turn up music as I cook, clean up (mostly) after myself, change into comfy clothes and drink lots of water. I’ll check glucose and take meds and read friends’ words until midnight.
Then I’ll fall into hibernating sleep and wake up tomorrow take another step.