Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Finding Life's Meaning Under a Blanket

This afternoon I was laying on the couch under a fresh blanket that had just gotten out of the of the dryer. My husband had taken the kids with him for a bit, and I was alone in a quiet house.

And, I thought..."Wow, this is what life is about."

I was so relaxed, and I could feel the blanket (which is weighted) falling around my body gently, as the warmth soaked down to my joints. I was reminded of how nice it was to lay back, and do nothing while I had nowhere to be, and nothing in particular to do, but enjoy right now. I felt my thoughts tug to past where I wondered the last time I felt this way, but then I thought, does it matter?  Does it matter if I ever felt this, or when I felt this, or if I ever feel this again? Does it change how I feel this now? Well, maybe it might, because if I am thinking of another time, I can't be fully immersed into enjoying this one.

That's when I realized that (to me) life is about:

Tasting things
Loving things.
Loving people.
Going places.
Feeling things.
Learning things.
Smelling things.
Seeing things.
Making things.

I am always pondering what life is about. What meaning does it have? Lately,  it has brought me to rather morbid thoughts. As I get older, and think about mortality, especially as I watch grandparents pass away I wonder what life means to those in their final moments. I have not actually been able to ask that to anyone experiencing this, and I think it would likely mean different things to different people, anyway. For myself, what simple answer I have come up with is that the meaning of life is to experience. To have the opportunity to do all of things (and more) that I listed above is what life is made up of. It's a stream of moments strewn together in a person's individual consciousness that only they experienced. They own that experience, and their future to make more.

Some might argue that it's a job, or their children, or their pets that give their life meaning, and I feel like that might be true for them. However, it's not those people, places, or things that gave it meaning, but the experience of interacting with them. I notice that often people put off good feelings while they pine for the perfect mate, or a better job. That doesn't make sense to me when all we can do is enjoy now, because all we have is now. We can't fall back to the past, or jump to the future, so waiting to experience feelings of a positive nature until we have this, or that doesn't add up. That doesn't mean that I am not in favor of setting goals. Setting goals is is just a way to optimize future experiences. Little goals like changing the colors of the interior of your house to make it feel fresh is a small goal that can really increase a pleasant experience, or something big like setting up job interviews to finally switch to a different job, because the one you currently have is making you unhappy.

Life is not short. I know I've said it before, but I'll say it again. It's long. Within it is endless opportunities to create, taste, do, create, love, feel, do, see, smell, learn, go, and so much more. If you find yourself spending life's currency (time) on experiences that leave you feeling less than alive maybe it's time to ask yourself why.


  1. Yes! I love this and this is exactly how I feel...and I am dealing with the mortality and age thing too...For me it is also the sensory that saves me and completes me in moments which is funny because it also unravels...but intenitional happy sensation is a gift I think many of us on the spectrum get more benefit from then most...Just like many who are neurotypically wired feel sensory overload at times but not to the extent we do or as regularly - i feel the same goes for our sensory appeal moments and the immense depth of them...They can have them too but its not quite as intense or regular... It's the other balancing fact.
    I loved this post and I practically felt your whole moment. Very lovely.

    1. Thank you!I think you're right. Some moments for us can be intensely happy in a way that is hard to explain to others that are wired differently.

  2. Ditto. Just loved this post - anything that warms and soothes the joints, also a bonus! HOWEVER long life may be, we can start now to make sure we grow TOWARD those things that feed us deeply...
    Thanks and love,

    1. Thank you, and yes...moving toward those things that make us feel deeply is so important.

  3. When my mum was dying, she said that she was ready to go, that she'd "had a good innings", and was only sad to leave us behind. This from a woman who'd suffered a great deal, her own mother died when Mum was only eight, then she lost two brothers as well, plus endured 25 years of marriage to my father (a very controlling, critical man).
    I think what made her life worthwhile was her love for us, and that we all loved her too. She said she felt "so loved" by all of us, not just us kids and grandkids but her siblings, nieces etc as well. Love and connecting to those you love, i feel was the most important thing for her. And for me too, really. The most difficult times of my life have been when i've struggled with connection, or had only bad ones.
    In the 13 months prior to Mum's going, two of her siblings also died. Another auntie has cancer. I've lost my grandparents generation, and am now losing my parent's one. This is a confrontation with mortality, definitely!

    1. Yes, that connection with others is important. Bad ones can really be worse than none, I feel.


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