The Secret of a Full Life

Puppy at Sled Dog Discovery & Musher's Camp on...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This is my weekly column for the newspaper, slightly edited for you:

“The secret of a full life is to live and relate to others as if they might not be there tomorrow, as if you might not be there tomorrow.” – Anais Nin


            I came across this quote this morning in a blog post by David Kanigan. His blog is called Lead. Learn. Live. And the title of his post today is “The Secret of a Full Life”. As many of you who read this column know, I have embraced the blog world, which is a place of discovery and sharing. Blog, if you look it up in the dictionary is not defined very well—the definition of blog is blog. So I will define it for you:  a blog is a writer’s little piece of heaven. It is where we can express ourselves and feel that we are getting our “lonely in the wilderness” voices heard.


I am luckier than most in that I have an audience for my print column. Many people are not so fortunate but anyone with a computer, a little working knowledge of the Internet, and the will to write can have a blog. At this point mine is free—if I want to I can pay WordPress a fee and get more options, but I am satisfied with what it offers me now, so I see no point in paying a fee for something I can get for free.


I am not trying to get you to join the blog world—but if you want to, it is easy. The old adage: if I can do it, then you can do it was never more true when it comes to blogging. But if you do not want to write, you can still partake by reading the blogs of others. Now if you do get involved be forewarned, as everyone and their dog (seriously there is a TV program where a dog has a blog) seems to have a blog and you may have to be selective. I tend to look for inspiration, humour, and human connection, not angst(though a little angst can be interesting as long as that is not all the blogger talks about).


And that brings me back to David Kanigan. He is an inspiration and when he is not writing something inspirational or thought-provoking, he finds someone to quote who is. Today he provided the above quote from author Anais Nin who died in 1977. I want you to note that what she said in 1946 is amplified in 2013. It is as if she was looking into the future. Without further ado, here are the rest of her words on the subject of a full life:

“The secret of a full life is to live and relate to others as if they might not be there tomorrow, as if you might not be there tomorrow. It eliminates the vice of procrastination, the sin of postponement, failed communications, failed communions. This thought has made me more and more attentive to all encounters, meetings, introductions, which might contain the seed of depth that might be carelessly overlooked. This feeling has become a rarity, and rarer every day now that we have reached a hastier and more superficial rhythm, now that we believe we are in touch with a greater amount of people, more people, more countries. This is the illusion which might cheat us of being in touch deeply with the one breathing next to us. The dangerous time when mechanical voices, radios, telephones, take the place of human intimacies and the concept of being in touch with millions brings a greater and greater poverty in intimacy and human vision.”

            What she says also applies to the blog world. I now know people across Canada, in England, Australia, Taiwan, the United States, Alaska, France, Spain, Brazil, Scotland and many other exotic places. But there is a danger in getting too caught up in the world outside my own home. I am cognizant of this and I take what Nin says very seriously when she states “the concept of being in touch with millions brings a greater and greater poverty in intimacy and human vision.”


Nin’s words make me realize that it is the life I have right here in front of me that is important. It is the people I share my house with, my friendships with, and the community I live in that are of immediate importance. I have made some significant friends in the blog world—and a few have become true friends, but it is not a world to escape to. It is a world that adds to my experience—but it does not take precedence over the people that are right here beside me. It is all a matter of that word I have learned to love and hate: balance.

Note to my blog readers: I was a bit off-balance when I first embraced the blog world. I have now come to a pretty comfortable balance–but I must say that I have found things in the blog world I have not found in my “real walking around world”. Has anyone else found this?

Published in: on August 13, 2013 at 12:15 pm  Comments (37)  
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You’ve Got A Friend in Me


Friends (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A few thoughts on friendship:

“Each friend represents a world in us, a world not possibly born until they arrive.”  ~ Anais Nin

I am grateful to my friends for so many things, and without them my world would be one-dimensional.

I would never name all my friends for fear that I would leave someone important out—but you know who you are if you are reading this. And if you are not a friend yet, my heart is open. It is open because the friends that I have opened it.

I echo the sentiments of Cicero when he wrote:

“How can life be worth living, if devoid

Of the calm trust reposed by friend in friend?

What sweeter joy than in the kindred soul,

Where converse differs not from self-communion?”

Or more simply in the words of a Hallmark card:

“You paint my life brighter

And make my life lighter.”

I am inspired today by the book “Friendfluence” by Carlin Flora. The subtitle of her book is “The Surprising Ways Friends Make Us Who We Are”. I have just started reading her book and pulled the quotes in this post from it, but I am interested see what conclusions she comes to. I know that my friends have influenced me in what I read, how I write,  and what recipes I try. I have friends who encourage me to exercise, friends I laugh with, and friends who most importantly are there when I need them.

I sometime wonder how I have deserved such friends—I am humbled by their friendship and eternally grateful.

I used to think I could stand alone and face things by myself. I cannot—I need my posse of friends to keep me from falling off a path that is at times rocky. They smooth the way.

Today, my bliss is in the celebration of my friends. Could you survive without yours?

Published in: on March 28, 2013 at 10:28 am  Comments (29)  
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