A life well lived

I often have this thought of the difference between living and thriving. How mostly we simply survive things.

When I was a kid we lived on the ranch. Every day was a list of chores and school. It was punctuated by moments that I will never forget. Like when my mom the ever social butterfly wanted to go to a party. And my step father, mr grumpy pants refused to let the family go. And how in her defiance she tied him in to the dining chair and put him in the back of the station wagon. When we had traveled the 2 plus miles to the end of our road she pulled him out and gave him a choice. Join us in some outing fun or walk home alone. He went and despite himself had a good time. Mom in her funny way was teaching us to thrive. To savor life in its moments that are not full of simple survival.

I married at 19 and my world was my husband. And despite my best intentions I married a man much like my step father. Life was serious stuff. Fun was limited to his interests. And like my mom I found ways to drag him out and show him that he could have a good time if he just stretched. In the end stretching was not in him, and I had to take the ultimate leap and choose to thrive on my own.

Now here I am in my 40’s and I am living the life I have always wanted. Yes there are survival days. But they have evenings full of  thriving. Were life is full of love and conversation and laughter. Where simple outings happen that fill life with sparkle. Tonight a concert is on tap. No not one of the bands you would think. But a band that stretches me. And gives me something new to chew on. A new taste for life.

I want all of my life to be this way. Yes I have to be responsible, I did not after all hit the lottery of financial gain. But I did hit the love lottery. And the blessed life lottery. Each day I stop and look back on the moments past. And I can say with unwavering truth that I have lived my life well. I chose my battles. I let go of things not worth the effort or stress or anger. I embraced new adventure and change. But mostly I embraced life. I choose to live it rather than survive it. And I am happy.

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