It has become my habit over the last twenty years to carry with me several daily readers to use during my Morning Practice. There are probably several dozen others floating around my office and our bedroom. I was once talking to a younger friend about a particular book we both used. I had to put it a way for a while, he said. I know all the meditations by heart. I laughed. Wait until you’re sixty, I replied, then each year it will seem like a new book. My point is that I change my daily readers periodically not because of familiarity but because I find that the sort of inspiration I need changes from time to time. This year, I am a very up-to-date Older Eyes. My daily readers all reside in my Kindle, reducing the weight of my book bag by approximately 1.3 pounds. They are: 52 Weeks of Conscious Contact, Melodie Beattie’s tome on getting past everyday distraction to maintain conscious contact with a Higher Power; David Kuntz’s Awakened Mind: One Minute Wake Up Calls to a Bold and Mindful Life; and one I added while roaming a Barnes and Noble last week**, Mark Nepo’s The Book of Awakening: Having the Life You Want by Being Present to the Life You Have. Nepo is a cancer survivor whose ordeal taught him the meaning of mindfulness. As you can see, there seems to be a theme.
Given the theme of my choices, it’s probably not a surprise that the first line of my January 1 Morning Pages was, This year feels profound, as if it were my last year. If that sounds scary, rest assured, I am the world’s worst psychic. You could be a rich person betting against my premonitions. But maybe, instead of a premonition, it’s a theme for the year. What if every time I was faced with a decision … or with a way to use my precious time … I asked myself: What would you do if this was your last year? Would I spend any time agonizing over something I can’t possibly change? Would I put off considering that there might be an e-book hiding on the pages of Bud’s Blog? What would be my priorities? Here on January 2, I don’t know. But maybe, by asking, I can find out by December 31, 2013.
What would you do if this was your last year?
** Yes, I found it on the shelves in Barnes and Noble, then bought it for my Kindle using my Samsung Galaxy phone with the Kindle app. Like I say, very up-to-datebooks comment below, or link to this permanent URL from your own site.