Today, smack dab in the middle of a house purge project and sorting through a lifetime of memories I was inspired to stop and write this blog. A quiet house with no interruptions and working on this multi-week effort, I find my mind wandering. I guess that is why my blog is called “The Voices in My Head”. Maybe this is just an excuse to procrastinate a little on this huge project.
As I was working and listening to a song of which I am particularly fond, I realized I had no idea who the artist was. I also came across my copy of the Complete Works of William Shakespeare that was a gift to me at 8 years old and I read back to back when I was 14. I remember how it made me feel but very little of the details.
I just like what I like. No apologies. I say this a lot.
A song can touch me to the core but I often can’t tell you who sang it, what year it came out or what album it was on. I can try a new dish or a new beer and know that I love it but struggle to even remember the name let alone the ingredients. If I am in love, I want to get lost in the other persons head but could care less about their profession (providing it is legal), social standing, amazing good looks or otherwise if they are someone that I can connect with at a cerebral level.
While not religious, I was amazed by the art and structures that I experienced in Italy, most notably in St. Peters. While the Pieta moved me, I can’t tell you when it was carved or much of its history, even though I read the complete biography of Michelangelo. I remember vividly all the places that I visited but not their names or details.
Wow, don’t even get me started on books. I have always been an avid reader. If it has pages and words, I will pick it up no matter what it is about. I can’t count how many times I have made it halfway through a book only to realize that I have read it before.
Since I am pretty sure that I am not yet approaching senility (I have been this way all my life), I stopped to ponder why I don’t retain many of these details, even for things I love. I will remember every tiny detail about a person who is important to me but very little of the ‘technical details’ about the things, places or experiences that give me pleasure and joy.
Anyone who knows me well (there are not many of those) will tell you that I am a particularly sensitive person. This is both a blessing and sometimes a huge curse to feel things so deeply. My best friend still teases me that I am the only person she knows who used to cry on episodes of Love Boat and Fantasy Island if there was any kind of sad story. I lost it watching the wreath laid at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in D.C. and experienced a terrible sadness after visiting the Holocaust Museum. I cried when I received a President’s Award at CONSTRUCT last year but couldn’t tell you a darn thing that was said before I accepted it although I remember what I whispered in the President’s ear after I got it. I won’t even tell you what happens at weddings.
It bothers me sometimes that I can’t always speak in expert detail about something that I enjoy so much but, in my musings today, it occurred to me that I don’t retain these details because I am far too busy living in the moment and feeling the experience as a whole. When I am reading a book, I want to get lost in the story and live with the characters. When I am visiting somewhere notable, I want to feel like the people that were there. I find that I am OK with this and, at least for me, this is the only way to live. While I am working on a lot of change in my life right now, I have decided I am proud of this particular piece of me, even when it is sometimes painful.
So what is my message today?
My message is don’t let life pass you by. Don’t be in such a rush to ‘see the next thing’ or ‘to get the best picture’ or ‘talk to the right people’ that you lose the experience in its entirety. It’s OK to just FEEL IT. Get lost in the moment, the story, the song, the place, the person and take that experience to a whole different level. Feel the tears of joy or pain. Feel the music. Let it become a part of you.
Don’t be afraid to find a deeper meaning and let it move you. You may not remember all the details after that kind of connection but the feelings will stay with you, shape you and influence your view of life and interactions with others.
We have all become too busy and disconnected. Today, I recommit to living all of life’s moments to the fullest. I wish the same for you.
Amazing what I will do to procrastinate a little longer! J