Insightful questions are the ones that bring you to a screeching, whiplashing halt until you figure out the answer…
A writing acquaintance asked me a question the other day. “What specific events happened in your life to make you truly appreciate living?”
Wow. What a question. I mean WHAT a question.
Simply put, the question truly deserves an answer. Once upon a time I didn’t have an answer. I didn’t even think about it. Sorry ass that I was.
Now? I don’t have to think about this question at all. I have an answer. In fact, I have three of them right at hand.
1. Standing Not-So-Tall In Front of a Federal Judge
The Honorable Steven J. McAuliffe. Senior United States District Judge of the United States District Court for the District of New Hampshire. He sentenced me to 4 years in a Federal Penitentiary for one count of Securities Fraud.
2. Losing “Father” Status
My two daughters did not want to be my daughters any longer. I can’t say I blame them. Wish it wasn’t so but the past cannot be changed. When the nails are pulled out of the fence they leave behind holes. Scars. Ugly ones.
Left hook to the chin.
3. A Stage IV Cancer Diagnosis
“It’s not good man,” said the surgeon. Colon cancer. Metastasized to the liver. Spread to the lungs. My hearing failed right after that conversation. Couldn’t process anything else. Game over?
Bam… Bam… Bam…and I am down for an eight count.
3 two by fours smack dab between the eyes.
As the Beatles say, Get back Loretta.
If any of those don’t cause one to appreciate life, well, there is no hope.
Yet there are people that don’t ever ask themselves the question. And then there are those that do and can’t answer it. They don’t appreciate life no matter what happens. Whatever the circumstances. Whichever the time.
I’ve met them. I continue to run across them. And that’s OK. I am not judging. If you don’t want to think about it, fine by me. Want to stick your head in the sand, Okie Dokie Smokie. Want to cruise through life? A-OK by me.
I would suggest otherwise. Because there is more to life than getting wasted, Candy Crush Saga, Facebook, the 9 to 5 grind, and accumulating stuff. There really is.
Honestly I am not trying to be Davy Downer on you and all. If you are OK with life as is then so be it. I’m just trying to offer a helping hand. A little dose of reality. A point of view. You can certainly ignore it if you want. Here it is:
Don’t wait until Mike Tyson steps in your ring and crushes you with a knockout blow. Take advantage of the sunshine, kittens, daffodils and lollipops that surround you at the present time and do some thinking now.
Take stock. Do an inventory. Measure yourself and life. What is it that causes you to really appreciate what you have? This is not a complicated exercise.
- Life itself? The fact that you are alive?
- Your health? Even if it’s not the best it could be?
- Your family? Wife? Kids? Siblings? Parents? While they are still here?
- Your career? Even if not your dream job?
- Your talents and skills? What you are really good at?
- Your faith?
Do it man. Get at it woman. There is something here that is enough to cause you to appreciate life. Find it. Acknowledge it. Get after it.
And if you say there is not?
- I survived jail
- I’m slowly rebuilding some kind of relationship with my daughters
- Cancer tried but couldn’t kill me
“There’s still time to change the road you’re on…”
— Led Zeppelin