I sometimes call it the leaky life. When your life slips away so un-noticeably, it’s like your storage tank has a leak. It’s just one drip at a time. What causes it? And what can you do to stop it?
Don’t let your life be driven by the automatics. You turn 16 and buy a car. You get a job. You go to college. Find a boyfriend/girlfriend. Fall in love. Get married. Buy a house. Have a baby. This is a life that ran away, one trickle, one dribble at a time. Stolen away by the force of automatics.
In the case of the automatics, the normal stoppages are considered roadblocks. Bad times. Scary events. We’d like to think that success brings a satisfying life. Winning the lottery or getting a promotion you wanted doesn’t usually bring satisfaction. There’s no feeling at the end of the day that tells you, Completion.
This is why people say strange things like “losing my job was a godsend” or “getting cancer was the best thing that ever happened to me.” It’s not that cancer is something to seek after, we all realize that, but cancer was the tool that helped them notice their own life. Most of us go on with our lives, one event leading into another until the next expected event isn’t there. You’re happily married and planning a family but you can’t conceive. You go the next step. You try fertility treatments, special diets, new positions and still no baby. Frustration sets in. Now you have to stop and really notice your life. You take a good look at what you want. Am I content without a child? Would I like to adopt?
Don’t let the automatics steal your life. You don’t have to wait for a near death experience to get a handle on your life. This moment right here and now can be lived without expectations, without the normal predictable patterns. You just have to wake up. Do the unpredictable thing. Don’t do the beach vacation, give the time and/or money to the homeless shelter. Go overseas and help a small village with their water supply. Or vacation at an unusual spot. World’s Most Unusual Beaches
Wake up! It’s not about what you do or where you go. It’s about waking up and noticing your life. Are you proud of your life or is it just a life? Just one in a billion normal everyday lives. If all you ever want to do in your life is to read the current best-selling books, make it happen. It’s a wonderful feeling knowing what you want. Myself, I’m not a world traveler. I don’t have political aspirations. I have pretty simple needs and part of them I’ve already experienced. My life is very satisfying to me.
I have people ask me often, don’t you want to get married? My response is, why? I’ve experienced that. Because I have stopped and evaluated my life, I have a better idea than most people what I want. This is my little spark of life force, given to me by the stars and the universe. It was a gift for me to decide what to do with. It’s inherent with responsibility. Just like with our children, there are expectations not to waste our lives. Isn’t that the meaning of Jesus’s parable of the talents? Parable of the Talents
When you see a drug addict, you automatically think it’s a wasted life, and yes I think so too, but what about the person whose whole life wrapped up in becoming famous? Or getting money? If what you want is wealth or fame, it’s all there for the taking. If what you want is a satisfying life, fame and money are not your answer. Decide what you really want or what makes you smile the most and experience that. You don’t have to have a terminal illness to have a good life.