Your Wild and Precious Life


Early in
the movie Nyad, Diana Nyad was reading a line in a poem from a book she found in her mother's room in the home after she passed. She originally wondered if her mother read poetry and why this one drew her. Then said she admitted she found out the book was the property of the man in the room next to her. I was drawn to the quote she shared and wanted to know more. 

Tell me what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life? - Mary Jane Oliver

poster-focus-on-what-you want
According to
her bio, Mary Jane Oliver was an award winning American poet with a passion for long solitary walks in the wild. It is no surprise to learn her creations were inspired by nature, rather than the human world. The quote above is the final line in her poem called, "The Summer Day." You can read the whole poem here, but it really is the last two lines that leap off the page for me. 

One thing about aging is that it brings clarity and focus if you let it.  When you stop being frightened by the rising number, when you give up pretending you are appearing and being younger, you are able to turn your attention to the most important question of all.  It is one I try to ask myself at least once a year, and it can take many forms.

What do I want the next year or years to look like?
What do I want my writing to become in the next few years?
What have I always wanted to do that I should try in the next few years?
And the next few years....and the next few years....

The words "next few years" is a crucial part for me as you never know how long your have. My father was gone at the young age of 55, my paternal grandmother 101.  From the time I turned 45 I began to lose people I knew - not always close friends and family, sometimes mothers at school, people I knew from social media, and sometimes it is the child of someone I know.  The older I get, the more often good-byes are required. 


What is it I plan to do with my wild and precious life? Several years ago I made the decision to stop putting things off and start living life as fully as I could. Three years in a row I made a bucket list of new things to try. And once the world opened up, I made a commitment to travel somewhere I have never been every year for as long as I am physically able. I have zip-lined laid out flat to get the most speed, thrown axes, taken a watercolor class, and travelled to places like Iceland, London, Bruge and down the east coast of Spain from Barcelona to Malaga. 

There is
a line in a book I read that I just can't find in this moment, but it talks about letting go of aging gracefully and wrinkle free. It talks instead of careening along wildly and skidding crazily into the finish line.  That is what I want to do. Feeding my wild side and cherishing every day I have above ground is the finest goal I can think of. Gratitude and excitement are musts. 

This focus isn't visible every moment of every day. I walk through life pretty evenly over all. And I'm okay with people thinking the regular person they see is all I am. Never fear, my wild side is always ready to step up to the bat. I choose to let my wild side out when it feels like the perfect moment, when an opportunity arises that I just can't say no to.  My adrenalin starts to flow freely through my veins and I am filled with unbridled joy as I dive deep into a new experience

Feeling stuck in life? In a rut?  Then let me ask you, “What do YOU plan to do with your wild and precious life?”  Toss away any limiting thoughts.  Instead of an I can't, turn your mind to how it is possible.  It's time to stop putting your dreams off until a future time. You never know how long you have.