"What do I want most in life?" Have you ever asked yourself that question? I ask myself often, but I’m usually too scared to state the answer out loud. Because what I want most in life is freedom to be myself. Freedom to think. Freedom to be. Freedom to breathe and to pause and to take the time I need to be the person I came here to be.
What I find is that, for many of us (including me), the obligations of daily life stomp out our courage. Make us fold and put away our aspirations. Make us forget that we will not fall if we move in the right direction, and that everything that gives us life—the sun, the trees, the stars—will catch us and cradle us. Will keep us from tumbling into a sad demise. Will ensure our basic needs are met.
And that’s the thing: we want more than what’s basic. We want special. We want extraordinary. We want extra. We want that pretty house and that leather-smelling car. We want those fully-catered trips to turquoise waters and those glasses of red wine on pristine white tablecloths. And sometimes we want sparkly things on our fingers or on our ears or around our necks - to make us feel beautiful or to make us feel valued? Maybe we don't even know.
Right now, I want less. I want what I have. I want this pace, this peace, this quiet. This limited food supply in this (still) mostly empty house.
I want this green yard and these visions of flower beds and creeping tomato vines. I want snuggles with my cats, and lavender Epsom baths, and sitting on my patio with a good book while the breeze whispers in the trees. I want big birds soaring through the sky as I write, and smaller ones landing in my yard to peck at scattered seed.
And for once, I see that I have what I want the most. I’m living it in this time of reflection and quarantine and solitude and sadness. And I couldn’t feel more blessed by the basic. More blessed by the simple. More blessed by the lack, which fills my life with an abundance beyond measure. Beyond words. Beyond time. Beyond everything my life used to be that, despite its recent influx of "more," really wasn’t so abundant at all.
My first book, Halfway There: Lessons at Midlife, will be published in summer 2020. To be notified when it is available for purchase or to follow this blog, sign up for my mailing list.
The Big Pause