Since 1992, my mom has written my brother and I a letter each and every week… on a typewriter.
When ennui sets in, it can be hard to find a way back into the light, but it typically takes a series of events and choices for us to be living a life out of sync with our personal goals, values, and passions.
Wouldn’t it be great to be in Portland on your way to Portland? If you live along the Amtrak Cascades route, you can be. Just step aboard the Portland Expres.
Most of us don’t realize how often our mind tries to control our lives because it’s so habitual and strong. Here are 7 ways to tell when it’s happening.
- Chris: Life, throw me a stick.
- Joshua: You own the stick.
Today marks my 11th anniversary of Not Dying. 11 years ago today - almost to the minute as I type this - I was making the four-hour drive from Anchorage to Homer, Alaska. After I hit a patch of black ice, the truck fishtailed and flipped over five times. I spent 30 minutes in the snow, waiting for an ambulance, with the bones in my wrist sticking out and blood trickling down my face from a skull fracture. A few days later, I had brain surgery to remove a buildup of blood between my skull and brain, an injury that has a fatality rate of over 50%.
Since then, I’ve felt the pull of two major life lessons. On one hand, I’ve become acutely aware of how little time we have and how quickly everything can end. This makes me want to cram life full of moments and events and awesomeness and maximize every minute. On the other hand, I’ve seen how you can never truly plan for the really big things and how much of life stands outside of our control. Keeping this in mind helps me appreciate whatever is going on, even if it’s not happening as quickly as I want it to, or doesn’t work out the way I planned or wanted.
I think the happy medium between those two life lessons is the importance of presence, and the ability to appreciate whatever is happening at that moment. Experiencing something means that you’re alive, and what a treasure it is to be alive and have that experience. In the last year, I started running, lost 20 pounds, got a book deal and a divorce, and moved from Portland, OR to New York, where I live with the world’s best roommates.
I’m living on borrowed time and I get to experience all of this, and that is simply awesome. Being present and appreciative has brought me an immense amount of joy. So right now, I want to say thank you for being part of my insanely happy life.