The Hubbard Hall Writers Group met today, and although many of us were ill it was an inspiring time. We are a diverse group in age, occupation, marital status, but as we sat there listening to our leader, writer Jon Katz, speak it was evident how much we had in common. He addressed the obvious -- a love of writing, art, a desire to express ourselves and then touched on something deeper. He spoke in essence of something he writes about often -- the search for a meaningful life. No matter where we presently find ourselves -- a middle-aged man in mid-life awakening, a busy mother, a young woman in search of a career, a single middle-aged woman in search of a life, we are all looking to establish a meaningful existence and to define what that means. Sometimes we think the grass looks greener from the other side. Sometimes we imagine what this meaningful life looks like, sometimes we write about it and Jon says in doing so sometimes we get there.
I am trying to get there. I know for me a meaningful life is one of integrity, generosity, loyalty and love. Our life takes shape around us and sometimes it doesn't look at all like we expect. The trick lies in finding meaning in the pieces we are given; to shape from the unexpected and the mundane, a life of which we can be proud. To me this means learning to be my own measuring stick, to be comfortable with contradiction, to have faith that it is possible.
And, for now, in this moment, it means curling up on the sofa -- drenched in the warm, pink glow of my still-standing Christmas tree -- writing, sharing, and listening to two dogs snore. It means knowing that for tonight at least this is enough.
Writing Prompt: How do you define a meaningful life? What aspects must be present for you to find meaning?