What Matters

We make our world significant by the courage of our questions and the depth of our answers.- Carl Sagan

Fill in the blank: Before I die I want to __________________.

This has proven more difficult to answer than I first thought.  It’s not that I don’t think.  I do, often too much.  And it’s not that I don’t think I’m going to die. I know it is a certainty.   I have forgotten how to want; or at the very least, I’ve forgotten how to commit to my wants.  I worry that I’ll want something, and then someday maybe I won’t.   I have to give myself permission to want, but more importantly, I have to accept that it’s okay to want and to not receive, at least sometimes.  I have missed out on some truly wonderful things and people because of my fear.  While I can’t change the past, I can guide the future.  I need to find courage in my questions and I think the depth of my answers will naturally follow.


10 thoughts on “What Matters

  1. Just yesterday someone asked me what I would suggest for a teacher’s birthday….the only things I could think of was things for my classroom. I told her that it’s hard to remember that it’s okay to want things for myself!

  2. There are things I wanted when I was younger that I no longer want…as life goes on you see things with new (older, experienced) eyes. I love that picture! There was a board like that up at Salisbury Beach this summer…I took a pic of Ralphie writing on it :)

  3. I read this a while ago. And I get this in a deep way. I learned to never have expectations.I know how subtle and sometimes fleeting it is to find a need or desire. To open to desires and allow them and let them be, become. Thank you for the reminder, again.

  4. Last year this time I thought I was on borrowed time. I was waiting for some test results and while I was waiting I thought of all the things that I wanted to do and I may never do them. I wanted to sail the Maine coast and I wanted to travel out west,
    Hopefully this summer I will take maybe not the Maine trip but a sailing trip out to Marta’s Vineyard and Nantucket.

    1. Diana, I hope you do take that sailing trip. I’m envious. That tells me that I need to schedule a little sailing trip of my own.

  5. I have the hardest time articulating what I want. Not just in the small ways – I can easily express my desire for a cheeseburger – but for the big stuff, the life-changing stuff. Maybe I don’t like the vulnerability involved in putting the wish out there, or maybe I still feel guilty expressing something so self-centered. Either way, I want to get better at this.

    1. I have trouble asking for the big things too. I think we’re taught that it’s wrong, greedy, or shellfish to ask for what we need.

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