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(Image Credit: chefranden http://www.flickr.com/photos/chefranden/)

I’ve been in a pretty pensive mood over the last couple of days. I have been reflecting back on my own life – and the memories that I have come to cherish over the years.

I have also been spending a lot of time revisiting all my dreams, desires, wishes, aspirations – and creating a list of what I need to manifest. The list is huge – and is coming here in a day or two.

But in the meanwhile, Mike Cliffe-Jones had a wonderful article on his blog today – Time.

Mike pretty much summed the modern lifestyle when he said:

And since then, each week, month and year has seemingly blended into a constant flow of meetings, socialising, working and doing. The pressure to achieve, to cram more life into my life.

So yesterday I stopped painting, sat down and closed my eyes. And I played The Dark Side of the Moon from the heartbeat at the start to the heartbeat at the end.

It felt good to give myself some time.

You should try it.

This hit home like a rocket. What have I been doing – and thinking? Just cramming more into corporate life? Rising up the ladder only to realize that the ladder is leaning against the wrong wall?

All of us, me included, need to slow down.

We need to make time to stop and smell the roses.

We need to make time to dance in the rain – and bask in the golden glow of the setting sun.

In my comments to Mike’s post, I wrote:

Mike – I was driving by the freeway yesterday evening – and had the privilege of watching the sky turn a hue of orange with the sunset. There also was a Hawaiian Airlines plane landing by the SJC airport adjoining the freeway.

And my mind was filled with a million thoughts, a couple of which echo the sentiment in your post:
1. As they say, being able to stop and smell the roses, is something I know but rarely do.
2. Carving out “alone time” consistently – and “sweetheart time” and “toddler time”, “baby time” and “family time” too.

Some of my own memories from the last decade make me very nostalgic – and when I look back on my own journey and the places it has taken me, I’m both happy and sad.

Happy, because by the worldly yardsticks. I have been pretty successful in the corporate world.

And sad, because it has brought in it’s wake a lifestyle that compares to yours – from your previous lifetime, Mike.

I’m finding my own island to fly into – any recommendations? 😉

The only caveat here is that I need to find and fly into my own island TODAY. NOW! Not tomorrow – or someday, maybe.

And then, I read another post on Mike’s blog – Even after 14 years, I can’t read this without crying. Can you?

Not only is Mike’s narrative touching, Letter to Daniel brought tears to my eyes. The letter ends with a few sentences that sum up the beauty – and fragility – of life:

For if he could hear, he would recognise the distinct voice of family, the sound of hope and new beginnings that you and all your innocence and freshness have brought to the world.

I wanted to hear the original – and having discovered that the BBC link no longer works – was able to get a copy on the PBS website: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/rwanda/todaniel/

Is life beautiful – and fragile? Isn’t life worth living every moment – and now? And the memories that come out of each of these moments are precious gifts that keep company with us till we ourselves set below the horizon someday – hand in hand with the golden sun.

Cheers! Be happy now! Anything less is just not worth it 🙂