Life after death? I have no solid information. Who does? (“Solid” being the key word.)
We can speculate, hope, imagine, doubt. Of course, the faithful can offer great certainty on this topic.
We all, however, have solid information about life before death. We are alive in the most amazing time in human history. Opportunities abound. Perils abound, too. The greatest peril for most of us is the threat of mis-living our one precious life, of getting to the end of it and looking back with regret.
“What is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” -Mary Oliver
What if our highest art, our greatest work was crafting the quality of each day? What if we went to bed more days than not to the satisfying slumber only a day well spent can provide?
What makes for such a day for you? Here are some things that can make my day: genuine connection with the people I love, laughing with my wife and kids, authentic smiles and moments of kindness shared with friends and strangers, work that fully engages my imagination, making something, learning something, improving a skill even slightly, awakening possibilities in myself and in others, physical exertion, play, a delightful book, the pleasure of good food and thoughtful conversation, small sensory joys like the feel of grass on bare feet and the sound of rain falling on the roof and the taste of chocolate – dark, dark chocolate…
The list could go on, but even having one or two great moments in a day can make it worthwhile. It’s remarkable how simple the elements of a good day are for most of us. Maybe just paying attention to what makes for a good day and being intentional about living those kinds of days is the simple secret to a good life.
String enough good days together you’ll have a good week, a good month, a good year. String good years together and you will have a good life.
I heard Joseph Campbell say in an interview that people claim they are searching for the meaning of life, but what they really want, he said, is a full, satisfying “experience of being alive”. That rings true. It’s the feel of a thing, not the think of it, right?
One day at a time, one step at a time on the journey that becomes a life well lived.