Life is made up of moments, small pieces of glittering mica in a long stretch of gray cement. It would be wonderful if they came to us unsummoned, but particularly in lives as busy as the ones most of us lead now, that won’t happen. We have to teach ourselves how to make room for them, to love them, and to live, really live.
Rachel and I had a small pity party last week: heavy on the pity, light on the party. And while it’s not like us to brood, we did a pretty good job of it. This probably won’t come as a shock to you if you’re reading this lone post since last week—time is bullying us and clearly winning. No one likes a bully, least of all these two spent girls. We may or may not have imagined that more than half way through our lives we’d be writing in a cottage after a carefree morning helping sun-kissed grand littles build sandcastles at the beach. Or at the very least we’d be touring bookstores in London “for the blog.” Well, we have yet to write with the soothing sounds of ocean in our ears. Big Ben’s chime is barely a memory.
It’s a good thing we’re eternally hopeful. It’s a good thing we’ve both read Anna Quindlen’s A Short Guide to a Happy Life. Quindlen doesn’t profess to be an expert in discussing the happy life, but her perspective underscores her qualifications. Her advice is as sage as it is sound: “Get a life in which you are not alone. A real life, not a manic pursuit of the next promotion, the bigger paycheck, the larger house. Do you think you'd care so very much about those things if you blew an aneurysm one afternoon, or found a lump in your breast? Get a life in which you are not alone. Find people you love, and who love you. And remember that love is not leisure, it is work. Each time you look at your diploma, remember that you are still a student, still learning how to best treasure your connection to others. Pick up the phone. Send an e-mail. Write a letter. Kiss your Mom. Hug your Dad. Get a life in which you are generous.” Thank you Anna. I needed that reminder post pity party.
So the next time you’re feelin down or need a possibility check (far better than the reality kind), pick up this little treasure that began as a Villanova commencement address. It will only take 15 minutes of your time to feel better and aright. If you put a high a premium on perspective, you’ll go back to this one over and over again.