Monday, January 7, 2008

Embracing the Possibilities

By Lisa Guidarini

Tempting as it is to take this month’s theme and expound on the ubiquitous New Year’s resolution, I’m inclined to avoid going that route. That’s partly because you’ll get more than enough of that everywhere else you look, and also partly because I’ve already written about five columns on that topic already and I’m frankly ready to snatch myself bald when I think about writing about it again. So yeah, enough of that old chestnut. It’s been roasted on the open fire, and good riddance to it.

Instead, I’ll take it in a direction I’ve already gone, but one which I think can’t be written about enough. That is, myself. No, not myself as in “Look at me, world! Aren’t I wonderful!,” but as in this is what I’ve been through, and maybe it’ll help you, too. It’s kind of like an infomercial, but you don’t have to worry about the volume. If it becomes too obnoxious, just look away.

I’m all about helping others in the small ways that I’m able. I’m a compassionate person, politically I’m socially liberal, and as far as heart goes mine has a permanent big WELCOME! mat lying over it. I’m also, in a combination that seems potentially dangerous, unafraid to tell people things about myself, to share experiences, admit failings and basically pour myself out there for public consumption.

But caution! I am not fat free. Be sure to check with your physician before beginning this program. While it is advisable to keep your hands inside during the ride, please also keep in mind I am ticklish.

Standard disclaimers aside, there’s one thing I’d like to recommend to you when it comes to the theme of “possibilities.” Take a hard look at yourself, at your life, and at how happy you are. Whether you’re currently happy with your lot or not, and not to seem too morbid or anything, but remember this: life is finite. It’s also not exactly certain we’ll ever have more than one go around. Some think that’s the case, but frankly I don’t know anyone who’s been there and back again. Definitive evidence is lacking. So to my mind, it’s better to play it safe and just assume this is it.

And if this is it, seriously consider what that means. We’re all hurling around here on this planet together, each going through our own individual one virtual time around. Every single one of us cherishes something. Everyone has a special talent, or a special need that deserves attention. Some are more fortunate than others. A whole lot of us are lucky just to survive from day to day. That may be the most important point of all. Life isn’t necessarily distributed equally. To my way of thinking that means to those whom much is given much should, in turn, be expected. Another way of putting that is use your talents. Do good work. Imagine the world as it would be if we all pooled our collective goodness and threw that out into the world. Imagine who’d be there to catch it, and what it would mean to them.

This isn’t a lecture, and it definitely isn’t a life plan. It’s just one, lone writer reminding you we’ll all be dead soon. Ack, no! That’s not what I meant. I just mean, be mindful. Life is short, it’s inherently immune to either being fair or unfair, and each one of us has this one shot at greatness. And I don’t mean greatness as in becoming a historical figure your grandchildren will study in textbooks, either. Be great where you are. Find your bliss and go with it.

Go forth and realize the possibilities. The world will thank you for it.

*Original photography used with permission by Lisa Guidarini.

No comments: