In the 1990 movie City Slickers, Jack Palance’s character Curly tells Billy Crystal’s character that ultimately life comes down to one thing. Crystal asks what it is and Curly says, “That’s what you have to figure out for yourself.” I don’t think life comes down to one thing. At least not for me. But one thing’s for sure: life is a whole lot simpler than we make it out to be. As I recently wrote in an email to my brother:
i am realizing that when I listen to my life, it says seven things: think, write, teach, drink good coffee, listen to great music, read great books, and love your family. everything else i do is the crap I have to do to keep the wheels on.
Life is easier when we know what we’re about. Since these things are what my life is about, I will spend as much of my life as I can doing these things. They are things I never get tired of, that bring me endless energy, and that allow me to pour into the lives of other people in the areas where I am most qualified to do so.
As these seven things came sharply into view for me last week, I got up from writing a blog entry one day and said out loud to myself, “That’s the last time you will ever let yourself feel as if writing is a waste of time.” When I realize that writing is one of the things I am put here to do, I will always view writing not as time spent, but as time invested in one of the callings, purposes, and loves of my life.
So there are my seven one things, the things I care most about and that bring me joy. What are your “one things?” I’d love to hear from you.