It’s NANO time – National Novel Writing Month.
This month in Tuesday Tales I’m taking a break from romance. Since I’ll be lucky to get to the 50,000 words I need for Nano by the end of the month, I’m doubling up and using this work for my Tuesday Tales prompts also. This week we’re writing to the prompt ‘flower’.
Victoria and Toby will have to figure out their own way for a few weeks, without me handing them their script. We’ll be back to them after November ends.
My NANO work is a nonfiction, inspirational tentatively titled: A BETTER LIFE: A TO Z. Today I’m sharing the C excerpt – CELEBRATE LIFE.
Enjoy, then head back to TUESDAY TALES here, for more story snippets from a creative group of writers.
Celebrate life. This too can be a hard lesson to learn. I thought I was living a full life. I’d grown a lot in the past twenty years. My world had expanded. I was learning to speak up for myself. I became less afraid of rocking the boat. I was less afraid of living a life of my own choices and not simply following what was expected of me. I was happier than ever. I thought I truly appreciated the goodness of life.
I discovered I was wrong.
I also unequivocally thought I was going to live to the age of 85. I was wrong.
Eighty five seemed the perfect age to me. I’d live long enough to have a full and complete life. Of course, this was long before I’d run across the Barcroft TV video of the world’s oldest yoga teacher – Tao Porchon Lynch, 96 years young and still teaching yoga classes – more limber than I ever remember being.
But 85 seemed perfect. I want to die at home, not in a nursing home, unable to fend for myself and unaware of the world around me.
I had it all “planned out”
My plans went awry on October 21, 2010. I had a sudden cardiac arrest (SCA).
I was on an airplane. We were thirty minutes away from landing in San Francisco for a paranormal conference.
I was 52. It was unplanned. It was not on my agenda for the day – or the year for that matter.
It took about two weeks for the reality of what happened to become real to me.
Finally, when I acknowledged the truth about my unplanned event, I also realized the synchronicity of the incident and how I got a second chance at life.
If I were at home, I would have been sleeping soundly. At the time this would have happened, it would have been about 15 to 20 minutes before the alarm sounded for the first time. By the time the alarm rang, I wouldn’t have hit snooze. It would have been too late.
Instead, I was on an airplane, sitting next to Lisa who began immediate CPR. Three doctors, oxygen, and a defibrillator were all less than 20 to 25 feet away from me, available for immediate use. Now, what’s the odds of that? Not being a gambler, nor a mathematician, I can’t answer that. I just know that it’s a huge number. And this time it was in my favor.
I thought I had a good life before. I did have a good life ‘before’. I discovered that it could be better. It could be more meaningful. I had a second chance. I realized that I was not celebrating life. I did not appreciate the good things in my life as fully as I could. I was letting too much drama and minor irritations could my life with its incessant gloominess.
There’s a reason I didn’t die that day. I don’t believe in accidents or coincidences. Now, it’s up to me to discover the ‘why’.
I’m sure there will be many more discoveries along my journey. But one that I know is that I want to celebrate life. It sure beats the alternative.
Yes, it’s said that only two things in life are unavoidable – taxes and death. Maybe a select few have figured out the way to avoid taxes. But death, that’s one final moment that will come to all of us.
But until it does, for its final call, I plan on reveling in my life. Even if I have a few aches and pains – and hot flashes. I’m here, I’m breathing, and I’m alive. I want to celebrate – EVERY day!
Norman Cousins, well known for his book Anatomy of an Illness, about the positive effects laughter has on healing, says, “The greatest tragedy in life isn’t death, it’s what we allow to die inside ourselves while we are still living.”
What a tragedy. To be alive – yet to not be fully alive.
Joan Borysenko echoed the sentiment, “The question is not whether we will die, but how we will live.”
Begin today to celebrate life.
What is in your life that is good?
What do you appreciate in your life?
Celebrate your life. Rejoice in the moments that have value – both small and large.
On New Year’s Day, just after my SCA, I went out back to deliver bird seed, and some stale bread and crackers, to the bounty of birds eagerly awaiting a treat. It was a beautiful Texas day, clear blue skies and a pleasant 60 degrees, a much appreciated unseasonably warm winter day. I stood listening to the myriad avian songs. I delighted in watching a mockingbird chase the sparrows while the cardinals flitted to and fro around the edges of the yard. A pair of doves cooed as they landed, thankful for the feast.
Several lone dandelions lie sprinkled in the yard like golden confetti – a winter day’s pleasure. My jubilation that day was the enjoyment of the brilliant yellow flowers and the birds, being alive to rejoice with them. And you know, this merrymaking didn’t break the bank. It didn’t cost a cent!