Monday, March 2, 2009

To Live Like You Were Dying

There is a popular song with a chorus that ends, “Someday I hope you get the chance to live like you were dying.” Not only do you have the chance to live like you are dying, that is actually the best way to live every day.

There is no suggestion here that anyone should do crazy things that are dangerous to their health. But most of us have dreams and things we want to do “someday”. Quit putting “someday” off because we can easily miss that boat and not even know it sailed.

Live like you were dying NOW. Do something you always wanted to do that is within your reach. Plan to fulfill another specific dream as soon as that one is in your grasp. (Don’t waste your energy on all your dreams at once; you will make more come true if you reach for them one at a time.) Treat people the way you want to be treated. Look at the world with wonder and appreciation. Listen to the music of life.

Whether you die next year or fifty years from now take the opportunity to live like you were dying. You will be remembered as a remarkable person and will have had a great ride.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

What Living in the Country Means to Me

My family moved to Phoenix, Arizona when I was eight but, by far, the most delightful days of my early childhood were spent on my grandparents’ farm in Georgia and as long as I can remember I wanted to live in the country. A lifetime spent taking care of family, including years of dealing with my mom's dementia in her later years, did not take away that dream.

When Mom was gone, I sold her house in Phoenix and bought a house on five acres in the middle of the countryside half an hour outside of Knoxville, Tennessee. Most of my friends had already moved out of the Phoenix area and the internet keeps us in touch these days.

Our house is so secluded that no one would know it was there if they were not already aware how to reach it. We are surrounded by woods… mostly oaks… and are up on a ridge with a wonderful view. No sounds of traffic reach us unless it is someone coming to visit. The skies are clear at night and the stars are plainly visible. In summer so are fireflies. In the autumn, the foliage is so breathtaking it literally makes my soul sing.

We have a sort of informal animal rescue. No donations are requested or accepted and we don’t go looking for animals. We simply take any God sends us and make them part of our family. Since we are so far off any beaten path we feel that any who find us are meant to be with us.

Some day we would like to add to our five acres because we also want to be a sanctuary for any family or friends who need a place to come and live. In this economy and, for that matter, in this world, you never know what may happen in your life that causes you to need someone else. We want to be there for people. In our past people have been there for us.

This was the perfect place to come after years of stress. There is peace here. It is truly a dream come true. I love it.