Sunday, October 9, 2011

50 in 50

In 50 days from now, I will be turning 50 years old.  It seems like a huge milestone and yet it doesn't quite seem real.  Mostly because I don't feel as old as I thought 50 would feel like when I was younger.  Does that make sense?

Both the death of our family friend 6 weeks ago at the young age of 52 and Steve Jobs' death earlier this week at the age of 56 made me think, "what if I have only 2 or 6 more years to live?"  Then I thought, what if I have less time than that?  We never really know exactly how much time we will have on this planet we call Earth, do we? So I say we should follow the advise Steve gave in a commencement address back in 2005, a little bit of which my friend Kate posted on her blog a few days ago:

“Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure – these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important.

Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart. … Stay hungry. Stay foolish.”

In that vein, I made a last minute decision to head to Port Townsend, Washington at the end of October to take part in Journalfest 2011.  I can't explain why the pull to be there was so strong for me this week, even before I heard that Steve had passed away.  Or before I heard this other part of that same commencement address:  "Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma -- which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary."

I just know that it is where my heart is leading me right now.  Maybe it is a foolish decision but it feels more like something for which my soul hungers.  As a woman named Joan I "met" on the Internet told me a few days ago, "following your heart is always good!"  Thanks for the advice, Joan and Steve, clearly it was the message I was meant to hear this week.
Found this photo in multiple locations on the Internet so
alas, can't give credit where it is due but isn't it fabulous??


kate mckinnon said...

Good for you.

Taylor schapiro said...

That pull will lead you somewhere. You will be glad you decided to go and now I understand what led you to decide to go. It will be great.

Laura Twiford said...

Have a wonderful time Cynthia, you and Joyce give each other hugs from me! It is hard to remember daily to live life to the fullest, glad you are hearing your heartsong!