“The measure of a life is a measure of love and respect,
So hard to earn so easily burned
In the fullness of time,
A garden to nurture and protect
It’s a measure of a life
The treasure of a life is a measure of love and respect,
The way you live, the gifts that you give
In the fullness of time,
It’s the only return that you expect”
― Neil Peart
I missed a few days in a row of my one line per day journal entry. What exactly did I do on Wednesday? Work from home? Take the dog for a walk? Write a blog and drink too much coffee? Yes to all of those things, but what was the essence of the day? That journal is my daily reckoning. When you go back to it after a few days to fill in what you’ve been up to you quickly realize that much of your days are pretty much the same, repeated over and over again.
When I look at the year, it’s been full of wonder and adventure. Visits to stunningly beautiful places, big life events in the family, a new puppy. It would be hard to summarize the fullness of this year in a few short sentences. But what of the individual days? Individually, our days are feast or famine, with some jammed full of adventure and others rather bland by comparison. Every day can’t be a lifetime highlight. Some days are simply average.
Sure, we ought to fill our time with more adventurous fare. Add more micro adventures and left turns to see what is out there in the world. We know intuitively that time is flying by, but what do we do to make each day uniquely special? If today was our last, will we make it an exclamation point or end it all with a simple period? I like to think I’ll go out with an ellipsis (…) just to make the world wonder what I was up to next.
“The day of my birth, my death began its walk. It is walking towards me, without hurrying.” — Jean Cocteau
Cocteau reminds us of our impermanence. It’s a lovely vision of life and death coming closer by the day, until one day we meet the infinite once again. Our lives are a singular entry in the vastness of time: here today, gone tomorrow. Knowing this, we ought to raise the average in our average days, we ought to sprinkle in more adventure and mystery and love, we ought to “live like we were dying” as that song goes. Life shouldn’t be a nihilistic series of meaningless days, it ought to be a gift we give back when we’ve done something meaningful with it. We know that our days will pass, but will they be filled with substance? We each have the opportunity to answer in our own…