A Full Life: Do You Have It?
At the spur of a moment…during the past weekend……I was asked to accompany someone to the Presidential Inauguration…after some Internet browsing on Saturday night and some quick packing on Sunday I was headed to the nation’s capital for the 57th Inauguration of the President of the United States. My busy, full life just got busier…and fuller. I am glad I went as it was a once-in-a-lifetime experience. It was barely more than a month ago when I had another once-in-a-lifetime experience…thanks again Isaiah and Natalie!
Just to be clear, the word “full” has multiple meanings. Here, however, I am using only two of those meanings. One meaning is full as in “look at the glass as half full, and not half empty”. A simple phrase that says so much about how we can each proceed through this life. Our President conveyed this message yesterday during his remarks immediately after he took the oath of office. President Barack Obama’s inaugural address encouraged Americans to be resolute to the challenges that lie ahead as we work to rebuild America. Sure there are negatives and roadblocks (the half empty portion of the glass) but we must focus on the positives and strengths (the half full portion of the glass) and work to make things better. In her own sage comments before I headed back to North Carolina yesterday evening one of my aunts confirmed the “full” approach is the way to govern one’s personal affairs and maintain a sense of peace and fulfillment. My Auntie has endured some valleys in her life recently but is quite resilient and an inspiration to me in many ways. Thanks for the words of wisdom Auntie Carolyn!
The other meaning of the word “full” relates to living with many phases of one’s life in balance and focus. A perfect example of that in action was my beautiful cousin Darlene….faith, family, career, sorority, mentoring young aspiring nurses. We miss you much Darlene but your wonderful legacy remains as we strive to live our own “full” lives. I am quite blessed as my family is full of stories of folks living “full” lives—in one way or another. I pine for more time to spend with them and treasure their “fullness”.
My life is quite busy and full all at once. Being busy does not necessarily equate to being full. In order for the two to be intertwined one must have the correct focus. I try to maintain a sense of balance and realize it is a daily walk. With the demands of a career, my family and close friends, community involvement, alumni involvement, professional involvement, and other things my daily schedule is quite rigorous. Yet I try to take time to enjoy some of the simple things in life and I try to view things with the “glass half full” mentality. It is too easy—-and expected—to have a meltdown or other adverse reaction when thrown a challenge but does this really help? Life is not easy and we know it is not fair. Every day I deal with situations in which persons are defrauded, lied to, or otherwise taken advantage of and they seek assistance in making things right. Sometimes this is not wholly possible but the goal is to obtain the best possible resolution and empower the client in the process.
One final note: take life seriously but don’t be full of yourself. Pride goeth before the fall. Plus most folks really dislike smug people.
Be humble, hard-working, honest, and hold onto the “glass half full” approach to life. It is the key to a life well-lived: the full life.