At some point in life we stop and ask some real questions…
Why am I here? What could I do if I really gave it my all? Am I doing that now? What talents are hidden, unbidden, and which talents am I focused on burying? If I could devote myself to a solid purpose of living for the next quarter of a century, what would I accomplish? What am I capable of accomplishing? Do I care? Why not?
I took a few minutes of rest early afternoon, yesterday. My schedule called for some hard and fast responses to some required needs, and though there was much to accomplish I could not continue on, blurry eyed and feeling weirdly tired.
A rest. Power nap. Cup of coffee…yes, a vegetable stimulant! Shower and dressed for the evening events, and back to the computer for a few extra tasks to wrap up. That was my plan.
- Then an article was recommended by a friend on LinkedIn. We teach at the same college. He posted a link to an article on Fast Company about the waste of time and the changes that TV does to most of the audience. What if one were to give it up for a month? What would life be like?…. (Great Article here)
- Immediately following, another connection on LinkedIn asked if a short work of fiction he wrote resonated with you. It was based on an interview he saw with comedian and actor Bill Murray, speaking about being 100% there. In the moment. Being. (Watch Video)
- Finally a thought about my purpose in life and how I waste so much of my potential just happy to “get by” and through the day. No clear focus at times. No hard and fast feeling about direction. Nothing to point me forward, just existing in space where I happen to be. No friends speaking to me. No iron sharpening. Just happy to wake up, work and then sleep… Ever been there?
During my push for a church plant, new job, or completing a degree there was always a sense of purpose and power. Almost like the time I decided to get my private pilots license (and did). I threw myself into the books and practice. There was a real feeling of “being” and connection to a purpose. As I age into what some call “retirement” it is all of a sudden difficult to let go of this feeling that there must be something more to do.
When my dad retired from working in Alaska (1985), and at his retirement dinner that I attended with him, the president of the company spoke words to the crowd that challenged them to find something meaningful to do. Get a job. Volunteer. Travel. Whatever you do, stay busy. Do not become a couch potato. Those were some of his suggestions that I can recall these 31 years later. His ending words related to statistics that a certain percentage of retirees are dead within a year because they have lost their purpose for existing.
Is that what we have to look forward to as age starts to claim parts of our living?
I know my challenge is different than others, and I need to find ways to fund what I want to do, but I have goals that just will not quit! I want to finish that book, and write more! I really want to work on another degree, travel, keep on teaching, making money, lose weight, get healthier…
In other words, I want to “BE” the best “ME” at what ever point of life I find myself within!
For some that contentment comes with slowing down, gazing fondly at that rocker on the porch, realizing they have planned well enough for this softer landing place of living. The writer of Hebrews even gives a hint: “…and be content with such things as ye have… (Hebrews 13:5 KJV) and the Apostle Paul said to be content with what ever state you happen to find yourself in. (Philippians 4:11 KJV). I am sure when I get to a point where life slows me down more than I feel today then I would hope to feel that contentment of a life “well lived” and a future hope makes me to have felt useful, and a great sense of contentment.
I only know one thing. I a’int there yet… There is still something more to do.