The following is a post that I wrote as a guest blogger for "The Ladies Room."
There is a song that talks about trying to know the difference between being alive and living. This is a question that I think everyone at some point in his or her life asks, or at least should ask themselves.
Being alive means fulfilling our basic needs: food, shelter, clothing, oxygen and water. But there is SO much more to life. Saying that there is more to life however, doesn’t make life any easier.
I’m not saying there won’t be potholes along your path. A detour that takes you somewhere you’ve never been. Across a bridge that hasn’t been tested. Over a hill that seems too high. Through a forest when you can’t see the other side. There will be trials and tribulations. It’s when those moments happen that you have to push through. Sometimes the way is lonely; and sometimes you may need to find a copilot to help you along the way. A friend, a family member maybe even a stranger.
But then there are going to be highs too. A straight path with no deviations. A smooth road. A forest with a clear cut path. A bridge made of solid stone. It is at those moments when we most appreciate life. But that is not the only time to appreciate it. Because it is the rain that teaches us what we are made of. What we can accomplish. It reminds us that we are stronger than we think.
What does it mean to really live? Is it getting that prestigious job, or getting a job where you will enjoy every minute of it? Is it finding Mr. Right, or finding yourself? Is it having a big house full of fancy things, or living close to family and spending time with them? Is it about getting that to-do list done just to get it done, or is it about finishing that list so you have time to do what really matters to you?
When I started blogging in January of 2010 I struggled to come up with a title for my blog. I knew that it would contain stories of my life, of my journey to really LIVE my life. I knew that faith would also often be addressed. So when thinking of a title I was drawn to a quote from The Guardian, a book I have read several times. Let me set the scene: it’s between a US Marshal and a witness he is protecting as they are becoming good friends. She is busy working for a political figure from a remote location and he comes to her as she is working:
'There are more calls to finish.'
"Those will wait. The sunset won't"
"Slip away and come watch the sunset."
This was a wakeup call for me. How often do I get wrapped up in the emails that must be written, the to-do lists to finish, the calls to make, the rooms to clean… I realized that I often worry about getting things done, and getting them done as perfectly as possible. But that’s not what life is about.
It’s about loving as much as you can. It’s about living the best you can. It’s remembering that moments are precious. It’s remembering many things can wait, but The Sunset Won’t.