I made it! I completed my seventieth second voyage around the sun. Although there were occasions this last year where I was not sure I would make it? I am here today to commemorate my seventy two years of life and to jump start my seventy third. This of course is all happening from my apartment on the sixth floor of the Zamorano Hotel in Loja, Ecuador during an almost worldwide in home isolation due to the CoVid-19 virus. So no partying with my friends and families, no wild dancing, but I will share a bottle of wine with my isolation mates. Well, only one actually, the other does not indulge in the grape but that will be enough celebration for now. The real celebration will take place when this period is over and if I, my friends and families survive it.
One of my isolation mates sent me a notice yesterday that all birthdays for March, April and May have been cancelled this year due to the virus so by decree all those who would be a year older can remain the same age for another year. It got me to thinking about the various times of my life and which I would chose to relive or do over if I could.
There was the marriage and family, climbing the corporate ladder period of my twenties. The divorce, crazy sex (before AIDS) and drug filled thirties which in retrospect was fun in many ways. The only time I lived a controlled out of control life. Then the complete turn around introspection of my forties.
The extremes in my fifties. The awakening of my kundalini while at Esalen. The experience of my greatest love and my greatest loss all within an eighteen month span. The ending of a dream and the beginning of another life. Retirement, giving up on America, living on an island in the South Pacific, (The Fiji Chronicles) and learning to breathe under water. Moving here to Ecuador. I experienced all of this living over the short span of seventy two years.
Each moment only has but one life, never preceded by a memory, never, ever followed by a wish.
Words to a poem I wrote while at Esalen and a guide for my life since. I lived each moment as fully as I was capable of at the time. There is no repeat performance or do overs in life. If you fully live each moment, there are no wishes for the next moment. Right and wrong are only judgements. How you chose to live in each moment is your life. So no, there is no part of the life I lived to which I would choose to return. There is no part I would do over. I lived the life I live with no regrets or judgements. I will continue to live until my death with that same guidance and philosophy.
My recommendation for life if I may offer one is to learn to live small, “materially speaking and as large as you can creatively speaking” to paraphrase Elizabeth Gilbert. Perhaps Shakespeare said it best in Hamlet:
I could be bounded in a nut shell and count myself a king of infinite space…
Be the king or queen of your own infinite space, which is your life. You only get one chance to live life your way. Groundhog Day was just a movie.