One day last week as I was picking up our take-out dinner from our local taqueria, I ran into a former student. We hadn’t seen each other in decades. After some initial greetings and hugs, he asked, “So, are you living the good life?”
Whoa. Now that’s a conversation starter. I answered “yes,” spontaneously– a good sign, I thought. Since then, I’ve been trying to fill out that “yes” with the specifics of “the good life” as I currently define it.
Then, over dinner a few days later, another young friend asked each of the six of us at the table, “What is your passion?” Gulp. Another thought provoker. My immediate response was travel, and that, indeed, is true. But there were other words that followed. And it was fascinating listening to what the other people said.
For the last ten days, I have been thinking about both questions. And just for good measure, I threw in another question that often creeps up and out in my psyche–“What is my purpose?” Oh, that.
Probably, we each live the answers to these questions on a daily basis. But to actually articulate the answers is more challenging. Plus, those answers change over time as we and conditions change.
I’m not “there” yet in terms of definitive answers, but some words have surfaced that begin to get at the heart of what gives my life meaning and direction: health, beauty, nature, creativity, my Italian-American heritage, travel, home, simplicity, balance, learning, service and love–of John, family, friends, doggie, and the mysterious gift of life.
Autumn always seems to be a time for reflection for me. With the two questions presented, and my add-on, I have my work cut out for me. And I wonder if my search for what brings joy to the table might be a part of the answers. I look forward to what I discover.
6 thoughts on “Nourishing Questions”
Excellent questions, Lynn. Post-retirement brings these questions to the forefront as the distractions of work responsibilities fade away. Taking care of my mother was my purpose until her passing in March. Now I am beginning to ponder the questions anew. Thank you for your thoughtful insight.
Sending hugs to you and John,
Hi Peggy! One’s family provides constant avenues for loving and a sense of meaning and purpose. When that shifts, then there is
that open space that allows for questions to rise about what matters. It would be wonderful to share insights. Sending love to you, dear friend.
Questions to answer on the boat!
A great idea!
I just realized as I read your article I have had a darn good life. You know the old question: Is this all there is? That was one I never thought deeply about. I guess I have always been busy enough and things were good enough that I was at some level content. I admire passion and devotion to good causes but I guess in my life I’ve been a dabbler. I have pursued a lot of crafts, never been a devotee, but have enjoyed the satisfaction of learning something new. I think if I had to name one thing that I was passionate about it would be learning. It is fun as you grow older to realize you can still keep on learning and not be afraid to be not good at something. There are so many wonderful opportunities for learning. Keeps are brains firing and our sense of self and wonder alive. Keeps us living the good life.
I love your response, Barbara. Continuing to learn does keep us open and fresh and vital.
As I recall, we both love the phrase “aun aprendo” –still learning!