This I Believe

Marilyn - Binghamton, New York
Entered on August 22, 2006
Age Group: 50 - 65
Themes: carpe diem

The Art of Simply Being

I believe in the art of simply being–of consciously sitting, observing, listening and savoring. At 61 and a half I need to just be. No more striving, possessing, multi-tasking, going, doing, buying, For me the art of being gives me a sense of harmony, rhythm and connection to both myself and the world.

As I sip tea in the morning in my sun-filled apartment I like to greet tiny palm fronds as they start to unfold. To possess the time to do this is both life-affirming and sacred. And it is what I need at this time in my life.

I need the pleasures of a day spread before me: time to be aware of the miracle of my breathing and the movement of my limbs as I stroll through my neighborhood, time to laugh at the antics of my two zebra finches as they take their morning baths and sing their tiny hearts out, time to greet my two African dwarf frogs as they frog paddle to the top of the acquarium, to enjoy the company of four siblings in need of a mother as we laugh, play games and discuss teen-age issues.

I have lived life in the fast lane as a fulltime proofreader in a stress-filled environment while I was raising two children by myself and completing my degree in Creative Writing. I don’t know how I ever did it or how women manage it today.

I’m sure that a major part of my new-found belief in “just being” can be attributed to the twenty-five years I lived with clinical depression. For me depression was a death sentence–it killed my senses, my motivation, my self-esteem and interests for months at a time. There was no longer a me, a being. To finally have the excruciating veil of darkness lifted at the age of 55 has given me a joy in living that is unparalleled.

In the quiet and reflective life that I now live I have time to enjoy birdsong, rosebud, breath of morn, caressing breeze, hint of night, giving thanks, beloved books. I can treasure late-night phone calls from two free-spirited children, the peace found in writing, the warm cove of a baby’s neck, the joy of volunteering.

At this time in my life I choose to experience the now, the joy of the extraordinary found in the ordinary, the essence of who I really am. I believe–no, I know–I have never been happier.