Thursday, April 30, 2015

Half-Full


A few nights ago I read something that referenced 40 being half a lifetime. It wasn't exactly news to me, but statements like that take on a new air of urgency when you find yourself standing at almost-39.

I don't mind aging, but I'd rather not be confronted with a half-over life.

For the first time, all the dudes putting gel in their (vanishing) hair and driving off in sports cars made just a bit of sense. From these front-row seats, I can feel the pull to recapture some of what's left. At a minimum, it makes me think about what matters most. It makes me want to make things count.

Truth is, I'm of the opinion that life isn't short. It's long. 
The eighty-odd years of a full life hold so many opportunities to get things wrong. It would be easy to squander them on irrelevant or temporary things that won't ever fulfill.

That's what I don't want to do with my second half, or what's left of the first.

I spend a lot of time thinking about community, about what it really means and why we need it. I write words and connect with friends I may never meet this side of Heaven. My heart lands in inboxes and pings around cyberspace and I know what we've created is real. It means something, and I don't take that for granted.

But if I find myself too busy to cultivate relationships with folks in my own back yard, those online words about walking and growing together lose their color. 
 
Recently, I sat across a coffee shop table with a bow-tied stranger as he extended an invitation to write an unpaid, monthly column in our local newspaper.

Like everyone else in the universe, I'm trying to figure out how to trim the fat. But first, what exactly  is the fat? And does it really need trimming?

Sipping my Earl Grey, I thought of every reason why I should politely decline. When it rains it pours, and I've already confessed that I can't swim.

Because he's a wise man, he didn't push. His offer was full of grace, and nothing makes me want to move forward more than kindness and space. Sitting at that tiny table, I already knew I was in.

Now I get to write about community for a new sort of audience - one made up of people I pass on actual streets. It makes me vulnerable in a brand new way, but I like it. Vulnerability grows authenticity, and that's one thing we never outgrow.

Each of us has been planted with purpose, and we really are better together.
Here's to a life half-full and ripe with promise.

{You can click here to read my first column!}