Good morning, HLA! It's Katie here and it's currently 3:15 am. I have yet to finish packing so that I can leave Virginia later this morning. I have spent the last 8 months at JMU and so in my post today I would like to take some time to reflect on my experience and what I've learned from the people I've met along the way.
When, I came to JMU, I had just spent four years at Bellarmine where I lived my four years up to the max and took on every leadership position I could get my hands on at the time. All of this involvement and leadership helped me to learn a lot about my abilities, interests, and talents as a student. Then, I came to JMU and I was able to mentor and supervise some undergraduate students who were experiencing the same journey I had been on for the past 4 years. What I found was that sometimes I got so caught up in the work I was doing that I forgot to remember what was most important- enjoying each moment for what it is.
I was reminded of this tonight as I was sorting a pile of books that I wanted to take with me to read for the summer and a pile of books that could stay here in Virginia in storage. One of the books I stumbled upon was "The Why Cafe" by J.P. Strelecky. This is one of my favorite books of all time. A professor of mine from Bellarmine had me read it during my sophomore year. The book is all about a man who is driving one night and gets lost on a long abandoned road. He keeps driving until he stumbles upon a cafe and decides to stop and get a bite to eat. Once inside the cafe, he is confronted with some of life's most profound questions. Ultimately, his experience in the cafe confronts him with the way in which he has been living his life and asks some important how and why questions.
As I flipped through the book, I quickly stumbled upon one of my favorite parts of the book. Essentially, it asks why we spend so much time and energy doing the things we don't find fulfilling because when that one thing comes along that we find fulfilling, we won't have the time or energy for it anymore. The book also speaks of how we spend so much time talking about how we are planning for the days when we can do what we really want to do instead of just doing them right now.
About the time that I read through that section of the book, I dropped what I was doing, grabbed the book, and headed off to spend time with a friend whom I have become very close to this year. I had to ask myself, why spend the night packing and being alone in my apartment when I could go fulfill my friendship by spending some of our last hours in town together by talking through our memories of the year and how our friendship has developed since we met in August? For me, I know that my life is fulfilling when it is concentrated on the relationships I have with others and how I fulfill each of those relationships. Tonight, by spending 3 hours talking with her, I was doing what I wanted right in that moment instead of spending time on something I didn't find fulfilling. This is our last night in town together and that time will never come again (she has graduated and will not be returning next year)- why waste my time packing when I can live my life in a way that I find fulfilling? For me, I'm so glad I spent that time with my friend, fulfilling what has been a great friendship for me this year. I will leave Virginia tomorrow knowing that I spent some of my last hours here with one of my best friends and I will know she is aware of how much she means to me. After all, I did give her my copy of that book to read.
This is my challenge to each of you: Do one thing today that you find fulfilling that you would not normally make the time to do. After all, if you don't do it now, you may never have the time or energy to do it when it comes around again. What is it that you find fulfilling? What will you do today to add that special dimension to your day?
Signing off until tomorrow with the song of the day...