"I have one life to live."
This morning in the shower the thought came out of thin air and felt extraordinarily personal.
Sure, it's a slogan.
Heard often enough for it to have lost it's edge.
It was mine.
And it hit me deep in my belly.
Mine to taste, gargle, swallow, digest.
Lathering my hair I asked myself these questions.
"How then shall I live?"
"Are my decisions reflective of the life I want to live should my life be shortened?"
"What am I no longer willing to live with?
"What am I no longer willing to live without?"
Attempting to discover from where these thoughts came, I rewinded a few days.
I had just returned from another family international adventure. This time to Panama. Travel is what we do really well as a family.
We can rally in an airport like nobody's business.
Take Friday for example.
Our day began at 6am at Yandup Lodge in the San Blas Islands, a 2 star resort owned and operated by the Kuna (natives of Panama) people.
We were awake to catch our flight scheduled to leave at 6:50am to Panama City
From this tarmac.
One hour passed, no airplane in sight.
Two hours passed and no airplane in sight.
A few minor details.
In this spectacular island archepelago of the Kuna People, there is electricty, solar powered with limited use.
There's no cell service although there is one island phone, not at the resort, rather in the center of the neighbor island where the Kuna people live.
Suffice it to say, it's just not easy to get information about a flight that doesn't arrive as the hours s l o w l y pass.
There's no "check-in." A pilot arrives with a piece of paper and if your name is on it, you're on the flight.
Three hours pass and we hear a plane, only it's a one engine private plane with two doctors visiting the village.
Four hours passed and no plane.
We passed the time by watching the Kuna people travel back and forth on the bridge from their island to the mainland where the school, crops, air strip and cementary are located. We also get to know the four other passengers. One birding couple from NYC and one young British couple.
Seven hours later our plane arrives.
No melt downs by the kids. Take us on the road and we are at our best.
You can see the plane and our co-passengers in this photo.
One hour later and we arrive at the domestic airport and rush via taxi headed to the international airport.
Our sights set on eating (we haven't really eaten since dinner the night before), buying reading material for the flight home and freshening up. Did I describe the bathroom at the airstrip where we spent the day? Detached toilet bowl that didn't flush, a door that had to be held shut unless locked which it remained most of the time we were there, a sink that dripped small bits of water into a little plastic container.
We make it to the Copa Airlines check-in but
There's a problem.
When asked for Bruno and Esther's green cards (they're our adopted Brazilian children) we produce the expired temporary cards and are told they cannot board the flight.
My husband and I both travel a lot. Due to our familiarity, we probably do not pay attention to the details as someone less frequently traveled might.
Long story longer.
Two and a half hours later we're on the flight home after persistent negotiation.
Not one meltdown and we haven't had water or eaten anything substantial in nearly 24 hours.
I interrupted this post with my recent travel story because it's a reflection of choices we've made as a family to spend a large portion of our resources on traveling. Traveling bonds us together. It's something we recognize we do well as a family and it creates eternal memories. Every person in the family likes it.
I hear people talk about a bucket list or a list of things to do during retirement or when the kids are grown and educated and what if, just what if…your life is shortened and there's no next year or five years or retirement, whatever the hell retirement is anyway. I don't believe in retirement for myself until the moment I no longer have breath.
If I have one life to live…
I honor the privileged life I've lived with gratitude and generousity.
I dispense endless amounts of love and hope into the world.
I choose relationships over power and being right.
I take advantage of each day by being a blessing to the people I encounter.
I express my love daily to my children and my husband.
I capture opportunities to spend time with my family and friends.
I fully express the talents I've been given by continuing to grow my coaching practice and having fun with it.
I choose to discover the story of love in every challenging situation.
I release attitudes that do not support what I want in life.
In life, 99% of the time, it's attitude and perspective that need adjustment.