I am a bit old-fashioned, and not just because I drink them. I have a typewriter and a quill pen. I keep an address book and send snail mail. I make my popcorn on the stove and keep my liquor in decanters. I collect vinyl records and use a paper calendar.
The front cover of my calendar is a mermaid, basically the ocean’s version of a Banshee. I have kept all of my paper calendars since the sixth grade and contained within them is a written record of most of my life’s adventures.
When tempted to feel sorry for myself, this visual documentation reminds me to be thankful for whatever my experiences are rather than to bemoan what they are not. Sure, I got dumped this year. I also traveled to Chicago, Maui and Montana. I went ice skating on a frozen mountain lake, white-water rafted, camped, climbed the Manitou Incline, hosted a murder mystery dinner party, joined a writer’s workshop, attended a music festival, and found the practice of yoga.
And it is only August.
This past month I had plans to climb Mt. Elbert, the tallest peak in the North American Rockies, and to jump from an airplane. Poor weather conditions did not permit me to do either. To my surprise, the disappointment I felt was fleeting like freefall, not enduring like a mountain’s summit ascent.
I realized that to live fully, I only need to sieze an authentic sense of gratitude. Life is not really made of the moments where strenuous hikes lead us to awe-inspiring views or we freefall into a momentary euphoria. Of course such moments are significant, but not any more so than the moments of silence, the moments of stillness, the moments of chaos. We may not think much of such moments but such moments are extraordinary. In such moments our bellies move with breath and our hearts beat with life and there is nothing more incredible than that.
The current of blood in our veins will soon cease. One day the sun will set on each of us, never to rise again. And until that time it is with humble appreciation and unending humility that I will carpe the fuck out of every damn Diem, if only by possessing gratitude that I breathe, that I rise, that I wake.
That I just am.