This past weekend I visited a dear friend from college who was visiting his aunt and uncle in Basel. Unfortunately, the circumstances of his visit were not happy ones. His aunt was recently diagnosed with leukemia, and his family made a special trip to be with her while they can. As we wandered the streets of Basel, the conversation turned to the big question: If we ourselves were pronounced terminally ill, would we do anything different in terms of how we live our lives?
My friend's aunt has decided to continue to live her life as she has been all along. No need to do a million things she hasn't done yet because she has lived her life with no regrets along the way, taking advantage of everything this life has to offer.
The question gave me pause for reflection... Do the people I care about most know it on a daily basis? Am I happy with my profession, and do I feel like what I do matters? Am I living my life fully? As it stands at the moment, I think I am... and that makes me happy. I think I could always do better at the first question, but I try to let my friends and family know I am here and that I love them. And ever since I decided to do the Ph.D. in French, I've been much happier professionally--it's opened many doors for me, introduced me to lifelong friends, and in general, I love being in the classroom and thinking about how French language and literature are relevant and pertinent today.
Today of course, was a bit of a lazy day... the first in a long time. And I think that's important, too. Sometimes we need some time to just mellow out. I don't want to be so busy that I can't enjoy the life I'm living either.