Yesterday I received a heartfelt appreciation in a short email from a woman I haven’t seen for at least 15 years. It touched me deeply to learn that the several years of our interactions back 25 years ago had changed her life. And it moved me that she cared enough to reach across the years to let me know.
As a now 74-year old woman in the midst of my “third chapter”, I find myself slightly embarrassed to admit that as I’m reviewing my life and the body of my work, I find myself pondering two questions: Did it really matter that I was here? And, for the future, what is my unlived life demanding of me?
My friend’s note helped me answer the first question. It also reinvigorated the courage, confidence and creativity to craft my answer to the second.
Given that she brought the power and ripple effect of appreciation to my attention, I’ll be following her lead with those who have contributed to my life.
And, take this opportunity to also encourage you to take a moment, many moments, to appreciate parents, children, co-workers, friends, even the serendipitous strangers we encounter, for their specific contributions to your life.
In our very individualistic culture, sometimes it’s good to remind ourselves that we never really travel this path alone. As someone else said to me recently: Life is not a “do-it-yourself project.”