This has been and will be one of my favorite quotes of all time. I'm not going into all of the LOTR setting and connotations on this one, but wiser words have rarely been spoken.
We don't have endless time. We have a very finite slice of the time pie and what are we going to do with it? I remember sitting in my cubicle in December of 2001, after watching "The Fellowship of the Ring", thinking there had to be more to this life but completely unsure of how to get there. And this realization was brought home to me in a very real way three years later when my mom died. Oddly enough, she started to pass from this world to the next at the exact moment I was watching the closing scenes from "Return of the King". Coincidence? I'm not sure.
I had no idea all the events that would transpire and lead me to this very day, right here, right now. All of those events also lead to the deconstruction of my life. In some cases, the absolute obliteration of everything I thought to be true. Along the way I started looking for and pursuing my passions, got rid of things that no longer served me, only kept what I love. At present time, the only things I own fit in a 6x10 storage unit and a 10x12 room I rent from a family friend. And I have never been happier.
I quit working in cubicles last year and I'll never go back. Well, never say never, but I have no plans to anytime in the near future. I traded things for experiences and my life has never been richer. I've been thinking a lot lately about the steps I took to get here. And someday I'll write about those. Some actions were planned and very deliberate, and some coincidental.
Right now I'm hanging out with my goddaughter while her mom works at home. We're going to Oaks Park today. I think about all the ways letting go of a fixed schedule has enabled me to help people in ways I could not have foreseen. As I let go of certainty and guarantee in a job, and learn to trust, I am continually supported. The stubborn refusal to quit, even when I can't see the way up ahead, has been honored time and time again. I always have what I need. Not only financially, but in other ways. Unexpected blessings tailored to me, like wine or coffee. And when I get freaked out about all the uncertainty, but decide to trust anyway, that keeps me in an abundance mindset and good things come my way.
And, somewhere along the way I discovered writing was my true passion, the work I believe I am meant to do with my time here. It was not surprising to me, once I finally figured it out. It's been there all along. Traveling, photography, music. These are also very strong passions of mine. It gets overwhelming, at times, because I have so many ideas! I have two books, novels, in process. And I have ideas for two non-fiction books, which will most likely be e-books. And sometimes when I'm writing, listening to the "Lord of the Rings" station on Pandora, "Into the West" will come on. I feel like it's a gentle reminder from my mom that I am on the right path.
I also write poetry and music, can play the guitar. I have just now completed my first song, and I am rehearsing it to play in public. When I put that guitar on and started to envision myself playing in public, it felt so completely right. I am also thinking about learning to make homemade caramels, candles and soap. I have even created and "IDEA" book for myself, so I don't lose all the marbles rolling around in my head. It's a lot! Every day, a steady stream of ideas. Kind of like jumping in a river, or turning on the faucet. You just give in and go with the flow.
Let me warn you. Once you decide to deconstruct your life, you can never go back. The path is arduous at times, and demands all that you have to give. But the rewards are equally as great. Finding what lights you up is an amazing thing! I get very tired of people telling me I'm creative but they are not. I believe everyone is creative. My creativity has been curated and so can theirs, yours. We only have to decide. Decide to do something with this life. Even one small step, the next right thing, can make a huge difference. Whatever it is, whatever has been tapping you on the shoulder, say yes. And make those changes. It's going to be awesome!!
I also believe we all have gifts inside us to share. Not just one. Many. What we do with our time here is not meant to serve only ourselves. We are meant to serve others. You never know when a word spoken, or written, or sung, might be exactly what someone needs to hear at that time. We have no idea how we might influence the world. Maybe not the world at large, but our world, our people. And that in turn creates ripple effects which will in turn affect the greater world at large. Share. Collaborate. Not compete. That is how we change the world. My mom was a master at this. And even still, 10 years after her death, I have people tell me how much she influenced their life. It's crazy.
So what will you do with the time you have here? Waste it on petty arguments, endless hours in front of the tv, sitting in a job you hate because the benefits are so good, talking about everyone else? Nah. We are meant for more than that. You are meant for more than that. I am meant for more than that. Curate a life you love, decide what you are going to do with the time given.