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Day 20: Wondering about big things

November 3, 2023

Do you ever wonder why you push hard for certain things – why other people don’t seem as bothered by things that bother you?

I’m not sure if this is something everyone experiences or whether it’s a feature of an anxious or over-thinking mind.

Either way, over the last 20 days, I’ve found myself wondering why this project ever mattered enough to me to become a project – why I felt the need to see beyond the pursuit of happiness to something seemingly more meaningful.

Today, two things happened. The first made that question go away and I felt “normal”. No, not normal, I felt that what I’m doing might even have the capacity to be inspiring. At 3pm today, I intended to write about the first thing – a conversation with a fantastically inspiring lady, Tanya Hackney, author of “Leaving the Safe Harbor – The Risks and Rewards of Raising a Family on a Boat“.

Tanya really is a genuinely awesome human, the kind of person they make movies about, and I’m excited to share our conversation with you via my podcast next week.

As I say, I was intending to write about what she and I had spoken about in today’s blog. But then the second thing happened and now my mind is somewhere else.

The second thing was that I got a call from my doctor to say that my test results had come back and that I need an emergency appointment for a procedure to check my bowel. Now, it’s probably nothing – more often than not, these things are nothing.

But it got me thinking about my conversation with Tanya – so I guess in a way I am writing about it after all – and a story she shared about someone very dear to her who passed away recently. She was there at the end and in our conversation, she talked about how deeply moving and, yes, weirdly joyful the experience was, despite the enormous grief and loss that was also present.

When I got the call from my doctor, my mind went…what if…

What if my hankering to walk this road has been preparing me to walk down one of life’s more difficult roads? What if I’ve been inadvertently preparing for “the next big thing” that’s about to hit?

Deep down, I suspect the (probably quite humiliating) exploration of my bowel will not reveal anything as scary as I’m alluding to here but, as Tanya said in our conversation, something we are always having to grapple with in life is that everything eventually dies, decays or disappears – and that part of what we have to do in order to experience the joy of the relationships and experiences we have – is to learn to hold them lightly.

Nothing is forever.

That’s precisely what makes life so glorious. I mean, imagine living forever – how many years you’d work, how many jobs you’d do, how many kids you’d have, how many partners…nothing would mean anything at all.

So, my “probably nothing” moment has me reflecting on the big things and, I think, might ironically make it easier for me to connect to this whole “joyful living” thing more than I’ve been able to do before having the sh** scared out of me. Literally!

Happy Friday everyone!

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