Good morning. It is 5:51 a.m. (remembering my dear friend, Donnon, on this day of his passing 8 years ago. Not Fade Away, my friend. We will always love you)
My best friend is really going through some challenging times. We’ve been through every big event together in our lives, and this one is no different. His father is dying. Like my mother, he has made the most of his life after his spouse died years ago. But now, as we creep toward the anniversary of her passing, it is clear that he has begun the process of letting go.
My friend’s parents were, and always will be, my “second set.” They both helped me through many tough times in my own life, and I am grateful for their gentle, Christian guidance along the way. Ever-grateful.
I write this morning, though, about what comes of these challenges: opportunities to look at our own lives and to make choices regarding how we will spend our moments here on Earth.
My friend is not wasting any time in embracing them now. A recent trip to the west coast brought him clarity and vision for the quality of a single moment, an inhale of life. He called me while driving along Highway 1, sharing with me the beauty as it unfolded before his very eyes. Every turn, every peak he announced in 21st century Yawps that carried me 3000 miles to be by his side. That was a great gift, my Friend. One I carry with me daily.
When things settle here on the east coast, he wants to head back there and do that drive again, this time with me. I don’t know how many of the nearly 656 miles we’ll do — maybe all of them. What matters is that we’re going to do it at all.
For here’s the thing: We know all the cliches: life is too short to waste a single moment, carpe diem, your life is not measured by the breaths you take but the moments that take your breath away. . . .We know all those, and yet, we hesitate to actually live that way.
Why? Simply put, we’re fearful of what others might think. We hesitate because we believe that the living of our lives will somehow inconvenience others or cause reactions that don’t support our beliefs or our actions. We go shopping for permission, for acceptance, for support.
It doesn’t work that way, though. We can’t live our lives looking for approval, asking for a general vote on whether our desires to live fully are appropriate or timely or even sensible.
YOU are given each day to live fully. Each of us. It’s through YOUR eyes and YOUR heart and YOUR mind that you determine what defines your carpe diem experience. No one else.
It’s time we all took a little drive on our own Highway 1. Roll the windows down and let life breathe through you. Live with the intent we all felt when we were 7 years old, where our lives were measured by the way we lived each moment — playground, sandbox, artwork, writing, sleepovers, pooltime, lemonade stands, dancing, TTFN and BFF and A&F.
Nothing has changed, my friends. They are still moments, and they are still yours. Capture them in all their glory, and live them as they were meant to be lived.