Guest Blogger: Dal
(Disclaimer: I must apologise upfront to all you faithful readers of Hel's fabulous blog. I was invited to compose a post for Hel's birthday. The following is certainly not up to the standard of Hel's usual posts, but I have given it my best shot. This post comprises something I have been pondering lately, and I wanted to share it on Hel's blog. Please forgive my emotional excesses and eccentricities.)
Have you ever suddenly arrived at the end of a week and wondered, to yourself, where all the time went? A week is comprised of seven days, which equals 168 hours, or 10,080 minutes. Even if we spend one third of that sleeping, we are still left with at least 112 hours per week with which to do... stuff. To be honest, I am not sure what I do with all that time. It certainly seems like I should have time to burn. But I don't.
Life has a crafty way of sweeping most of us along for a rather bumpy ride. And no matter how much we may be enjoying the ride, or wishing we could get off, time rhythmically ticks a staccato in the background. For this reason I feel it is important to have anchors in life. Anchors help us to hold fast to the things in life that really matter. Without these anchors we could find ourselves adrift, trying to navigate our way through rough seas, but without a real purpose or fixed destination.
It may be a shortcoming of my youth, but I truly feel that my life is important. I think. I feel. I am. I matter. This rather biased look at my self and my worth does not stem from my past achievements, or a delusional projection of what I will achieve in the future. I do not matter because of my work or anything I do at my job. I hope that this feeling is not just a product of my youth, but that I will feel the same way when I am seventy, eighty, or even ninety years old. I hope my life has taken on even greater depth and meaning when I mature in age. I believe my sense of purpose and importance stems from my anchors. The most important anchors in my life are my family, the gospel, and art. These three anchors give me a sense of purpose, remind me of what is truly important, and help me to see and appreciate the beauty that is all around.
Unfortunately, I am as guilty as anyone of devaluing the exquisite worth of my family. My wife is the single most important person in my life. I would be nowhere without her (I would also be a creepy 30 year old man who feasts on spam and creamed corn while endlessly playing Final Fantasy every weekend, alone). I find it so easy to get swept along the current of life and forget to appreciate her daily efforts. But she is as much an essential part of my life as the features on my face. (Yes, I just compared my wife to my face, but please, indulge me for a moment.) I have grown so accustomed to seeing my face, that it is easy to ignore it, although it is always there. My face has always been there, and will always be there. The contours of my face often change, the lines deepen, and the hairline recedes (hair?). I could not imagine a life without my face, it is a crucial part of who I am.
I find it rather profound that my wife is also such an accepted and essential part of my life. I just assume she has always been there and always will be there. I remember a time without her, but it's hazy, shadowed, and oddly, feels a bit empty. Although Hel is a part of me, she is also separate from me. In actual fact her life, feelings, and emotions are just as fragile as mine and could change in a heartbeat. It is wrong of me to just accept Hel as part of me, like an appendage, and I should always let her know just how essential she is, and how much she matters. It is an exquisite feeling to know that I have the privilege of sharing my life with Hel, and extraordinary that she has so easily become another part of me. A part that I didn't know I was missing. How keenly would I now feel her loss if she were to disappear? In the swift passing of time I find it crucial to stop for just a moment, as often as possible, and truly appreciate Hel's worth to me and my life as my most profound (and skinny) anchor.
LQ is a more elemental anchor. It is impossible to forget she is there. If she were an appendage she would be akin to a hand that uncontrollably smacks me in the face. The hand doesn't need anything, just wants to continually remind me of its presence. I could escape LQ as easily as I could escape falling down in the middle of an earthquake. But somehow, I know I wouldn't want to escape her, even if I could. Her love for me is unquestioning, and my love for her is fierce. Next to her, all other earthly possessions seem like so much inconsequential dust. I may spend 10 hours a day working as a travel agent, but it is for the 2 hours I get to spend with LQ each evening that truly give my life meaning.
The Gospel of Jesus Christ, or my particular version of it (LDS, if you're curious), has always been a part of me. I could remove this completely from my life as easily as I could step out of my skin. My feelings and dedication to the gospel run very deep, and this helps keep all other aspects of my life in the proper perspective. The gospel confirms my unique place in the universe, teaches me to adore Hel and revere the sanctity of women, and also instills humility by encouraging service to all around me. This anchor keeps me pointed toward the right direction.
I can think of few anchors with more power than art. What better element is there to teach about the world around me? Whether it be films, books, music, or other forms of fine art, these impressions of life have always kept me grounded by touching on truths that are difficult to expose otherwise. I have always had an personal affinity to film. This form of art takes the elements of music, dialogue, photography, acting, direction, production design, and several other variables to create a collage of life. Certain films have the power to touch our very souls, instruct us, and uplift us. Other films do no greater than make us laugh, but how profound can laughter be at the right moments in life? No matter how awful my day has been, a great movie will always uplift me and prime me for watching another. Consider also the power of great music, or the magic of an excellent story. As anchors, all forms of art can take us out of the monotonous current of life and remind us how exquisite this world truly is.
Do you have anchors in your life? What do you have that serves as a reminder of your exquisite worth? Most of us spend the bulk of our time sleeping, eating, working, and sitting in traffic. What will you remember about your life when you are ninety? It probably won't be the hours you spent sitting in traffic. Remember your greatness. Remember the beauty around you. Try and drop as many anchors as you can while time steadily drums on. Do not let another week sweep by with nothing to hold you steady.
From Helen: I loved all the suggestions for celebrating my birthday. I REALLY liked the idea of karaoke, Steph! But didn't find a karaoke place in time - maybe next time. Random.org picked the first comment as the winner of my chocolate care package - The Damsel in Dis Dress. Love the Damsel, visit her blog - now! Damsel, if you would like some insane chocolate from Aus, email me with your address.