Sunday, January 19, 2014

Sunday Morning Ramble.

There are these days that I sit and wonder things. Like, specifically, I look at the things I can do and the things that I do do or I look at my unique gifts and I ask myself, "Are you doing what you are supposed to be doing?"

The good news is that I mostly feel like I am. But the more time passes and the more we grow, that question and its answer is a moving target. And not in a bad or a depressing way, either. Just . . . a real way. You know?

Does this even make sense? I don't know.

Ever since Deanna left us, I've become much more thoughtful about my life. I now know how unpredictable our days can be and, though I'm sure if you asked Dee she'd tell you that there was plenty more she wanted to do, I am deeply inspired by the impact she had in her short time here.

Yeah. So I think about that a lot. What I'm doing. And how closely it aligns with what I'm supposed to be doing.


I guess I just want to be a good steward of the things that have been given to me, you know? Those things include certain talents, influences, and relationships. It also includes some simple things, too, like a good sense of humor, a brain that's good for remembering and learning things, and a pretty good dose of emotional intelligence. So I find myself constantly wondering if there are ways that I can be better at what I'm doing.  Or more meaningful, even. And if I'm utilizing what I have for something greater.

Yes. Greater.

Sounds exhausting, right? Yeah. I can see that. But the thing is. . . .I can't just . . . I don't know. I can't just live my life without thinking these things through. I can't. Not anymore I can't.

Can I admit this? Some part of me feels like there is even more of an urgency to think this way now that my big sister is gone. Like, how can I just live aimlessly, you know? For me that answer is clear. I can't.

I was reading through some old posts with my Dad last night. And it's funny because now I divide my writings into "before the new normal" and "after the new normal." Which means, things I wrote before Deanna left us and things I wrote after that. I'm glad that those writings prove that a lot of these things I'm thinking about and trying to do preceded November 15, 2012.

But I guess now, I just think about how I live my life even more. I savor the moments and the people and the lessons differently. And I sweat small things less.

Yeah. So this Sunday ramble is just me thinking about what I am doing. And, again, how I believe that matches up with what I'm supposed to be doing.


Let me be clear: This doesn't mean that I'm not satisfied with my life. Quite the contrary, actually. It just means that I see myself as a part of something so much bigger than just one individual's life. So I strive to be aware, you know? I search for ways to live with as much intention as possible. Sometimes I get it right and other days, I get it horribly wrong.


It is now 2014.  And my life is very, very good. It is. But, just like last year, I will spend quiet moments exploring questions about what I'm supposed to be doing. Big things and little things. And in order to do what you are supposed to be doing sometimes you have to push out those things that you're NOT supposed to be doing. To make room. Yes. To make room.

I don't mean to be cryptic. There is nothing really deep going on or some major decision that stands before me. I'm just thinking, that's all. Thinking about how I can make this year the best one of my life. And how I can take what I have and shake it up like a carbonated beverage and then pop the cap off of it. And, no, not put myself under too much pressure as that metaphor suggests but instead find ways to bubble over in positive ways. To touch. To teach. To affect. To inspire.

Yes. That.

That book -- that controversial-ish book --  "Lean In" by Sheryl Sandberg starts with this simple question:

"What would you do if you you weren't afraid?"

And that? That is a question I've pondered in 2014. It is.

me with my vision board
So. I guess I want to get you thinking with me. Perhaps you can ask yourselves that same question. What would you do if you weren't afraid? And better yet, what is it that you're supposed to be doing? How can you be a better steward of your time and your influence? And how can you be more intentional in your interactions and your life?

Heavy questions, I know. Especially if you allow yourself to really think them through.

That's what's on my mind this morning. What's on yours?

Happy Sunday. Think I'm going to go start myself a new vision board this weekend. Yeah.


  1. I love these thoughts because they are the same ones I have had since my dad passed away. I almost think (not quite sure yet) that Deanna is speaking to you and my dad is speaking to me....encouraging us that there is just a little something more because they know now or maybe they always did.

  2. i have been thinking many of the same thoughts, though perhaps for different reasons, my mother's aging, my children grown, my layoff and the gift of time to reflect, and I'm trying so hard not to let prosaic worries about money cloud the voice I'm listening for within. From where I stand, you are definitely living a life on purpose, and if you ask for even more, as you have in this post, it will definitely be magnetically presented to you, but I also want to say this: There is perhaps no greater purpose in your life than those two beautiful boys you are raising to be good and purposeful men, so don't be too too hard on yourself, because you're doing a wonderful job with your children. All the rest will be there, because it's who you are. The medical profession is lucky to have you!

  3. If I ask myself what I am afraid of, I'd say "not much." The truly beautiful things that I know have come to me without much conscious thought or purpose, and I truly believe I have very little REAL control over what comes next. That isn't meant to sound hopeless -- I think Buddhist thought has always swirled around me, resonating, and it's been true to my own experience that suffering comes with clinging. I'm no Buddha, though, and cling to nearly everything, but reminding myself and acknowlediging both the clinging and the suffering helps.

    Everything YOU write and every photo of you has a radiance, Doctor, and I am grateful for each and every one of your thoughtful and inspiring posts. Well, maybe except for those that get on my case for not being active enough! (And I SHOULD be more grateful for those anyway!)


"Tell me something good. . . tell me that you like it, yeah." ~ Chaka Khan

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