Monday, December 28, 2009

Focus on Living

We had a staff meeting this morning followed by lunch and bowling at the Dinah Bowl.  There were seven of us.  None of us had bowled in years.  I can't imagine how long its been for me; 30 years I suppose.  I seriously considered skipping that part.  It was, after all, optional.  I knew I'd be a lousy bowler and embarrass myself and seriously considered the silliness of even making the attempt.  I wasn't that bad.  I rolled a few gutter balls and made a few strikes and even a couple of spares.  We all had a good time and the food was right respectable.  I came away with a better sense of who and how my co-workers are.  I clearly gained a better fondness for each of them.  A couple of people who seemed quite intimidating were just as clutzy and insecure about their athletic prowess as I was.  Good experience.

When I got a chance later on I picked up a wonderful book I'm reading, and in the course of my reading encountered this observation:
"...I have become better at writing than living...:"  (Juliet from Mary Ann Schaffer and Annie Barrows' The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society)
That little statement hit me right between the eyes!  I spend a lot of time writing - observing and writing, and it is easy to substitute that for actual living.  Writing by nature invites me to become a spectator of life rather than a participant in it.  And it seems the more I write the more I lean in that direction.  Today's experience reminded me that I've got to concentrate on observing while I'm living rather than doing it instead of living.

Another factor is that it is to easy to live virtually rather than literally these days.  I've become a orchard virtuoso of sorts with my Farmville farm on Facebook.  It is so satisfying to harvest all those crops and build my virtual empire.  Meanwhile, my literal empire is dwindling.  Clearly another case of sitting on the sidelines of life instead of actually participating in the game.  Some of each is probably appropriate but I've simply got things out of balance of late.

I wonder if age has something to do with it.  Bowling never actually hurt before.  There again, it may actually be an outgrowth of the sedentary nature of writing.  So making a new year effort of living more may make me more active and less likely to suffer when I am.  So off the sidelines I go.


Kate Weber said...

Great post! I really love that thought, and I too need to incorporate it into my life better. Thanks for the eye opener.

BTW, it has been a few years, but the two of us went bowling as a daddy daughter date. You kicked my butt. I remember. Just letting you know it hasn't been as long as you think. :D

julie said...

Wow! I love that quote! I definitely have struggled with that in the past; however, I read instead of lived. Life is so much more fulfilling when you're living it. :) Good luck with your goal!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...