Sunday, December 18, 2011

Get Busy Living.


I haven’t blogged in a while. Perhaps it is because I’m writing a new book which now serves as my catchall, my canvas, for newborn thoughts, instead of this blog.

I’m sorry. Although I don’t know who I’m apologizing to. My mom hasn’t noticed. Some friends have, but I talk to them weekly and fill them in on my life anyway. To those of you who don’t know me and wonder where I’ve been, well, I’ve been busy living (if “Shawshank Redemption” comes to mind, that’s not a bad thing.)

I felt compelled to write again because this week, “get busy living” is on top of mind. If you live in NYC, or work in the advertising industry, you may have heard of the tragic unexplained death of someone I didn’t know - but feel like I did - in my industry. She was living her life. Going through the mundane of walking into an elevator on a Wednesday to grab coffee or go to another floor for a meeting, and the cruel and unexplained happened that brought her life to a sudden end.

And then the “whys” ensue. We grasp for answers. Why did something so random and horrific happen to someone we know and love? To anyone, for that matter? I’m not going to attempt a dialogue, let alone propose an answer to such a mysterious and fatalistic perplexity. All I know is that I continued to go through the motions of my day, but with a somber heaviness in my stomach. The only question I can ask, is not what does this mean, but what does this mean for me, in my little life. What am I doing, or not doing, to experience this life and inhabit the nano seconds of my day to day, and to appreciate and love those that matter most?

Did I hear my mother’s voice today? No. Am I pushing the boundaries of my own life, exploring the things that scare me, jumping into situations today, that I’ve been putting off until tomorrow? If the answer is still no, then I’m not getting busy living.

I can’t help but tie this post into a neat bow (since we can’t do that in life), by saying that my new novel which has been focusing my thoughts away from this blog, is about living the roads less traveled. It’s about the what-ifs. What if this amazing woman got detained and didn’t get into the elevator at that moment? What if she had chosen to take the day off, but instead she crossed the street at the wrong time? What is the “wrong time” anyway, or the “right time”? Is there even such a thing?

The more people we meet and the older we get, the more we are touched by loss. I guess we can pretend to have some control. We can trick ourselves into thinking that if we stay home, if we curl up and hide from contact with others, and from adventure - that we are protecting ourselves. If we do nothing more than stick to our mundane routines, we believe we might insure ourselves against risk, its potential losses, and the ups and downs of life. Even if that includes getting into an elevator in the middle of our work day.

But at the end of the day, at the end of the twenty-four hour increment of our short life, all that matters is that we make an effort to get out of our comfort zone, and hold onto what - and who - matters most.

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