I have so many things I want to write about - my history, my world, my thoughts, funny things, sad things. I have so much in my mind that I want to get out - my hopes, dreams, heartaches and pleasures. I have knowledge through experiences that I want to record in hopes that someone, somewhere will learn something. But alas, as I sit here now, nothing profound comes to me. No inspirational, relevant message for anyone, anywhere.
I feel as though I meander through this life - sometimes amazing, sometimes average, sometimes ecstatic, sometimes melancholy. Where is it all leading? Where am I going? What impact am I having? I cook, I clean, I converse, I do my best to make everyone I meet comfortable and happy. I try to give them a life of peace, joy and love. Am I successful? Only time will tell. Does the effort I've put into writing actually help anyone? Only time will tell. Is my life fulfilling, meaningful? Only time will tell. I know that on a day-to-day basis, I am filled with love for those around me (and those far away).
I know I go to sleep satisfied with the events of the day, filled with thanksgiving and happiness. But I also have a desire to achieve more. Very rarely am I truly content - what am I reaching for? Do others feel this way? Do others battle the fine line between pleasure in the present and a drive to continually progress towards better? How can I reconcile the ideas of contentedness versus stagnation?
Whenever I spend too long thinking about this internal struggle, I force myself to remember “The Dash.” It is a great poem written by Linda Ellis in 1996.
I read of a man who stood to speak at the funeral of a friend
He referred to the dates on her tombstone from the beginning to the end.
He noted that first came the date of her birth and spoke of the following date with tears,
But he said what mattered most of all was the dash between those years.
For that dash represents all the time that she spent alive on earth...
And now only those who loved her know what that little line is worth.
For it matters not, how much we own; the cars...the house...the cash.
What matters is how we live and love and how we spend our dash.
So think about this long and hard ... are there things you'd like to change?
For you never know how much time is left. (You could be at "dash mid-range")
If we could just slow down enough to consider what's true and real,
And always try to understand the way other people feel.
And be less quick to anger, and show appreciation more,
And love the people in our lives like we've never loved before.
If we treat each other with respect and more often wear a smile...
Remembering that this special dash might only last a little while.
So, when your eulogy's being read with your life's actions to rehash...
Would you be proud of the things they say about how you spend your dash??