All of you want to do well. But if you do not do good, too, then doing well will never be enough. It is so easy to waste our lives: our days, our hours, our minutes. It is so easy to take for granted the color of the azaleas, the sheen of the limestone on Fifth Avenue, the color of our kid’s eyes, the way the melody in a symphony rises and falls and disappears and rises again. It is so easy to exist instead of live.”

~ Anna Quindlen, commencement address 2000.

Life has been throwing the bigger questions of life at me lately: Decisions about what path to take and whether decisions I have made are good ones. Actually if often feels to me more like riding the waves than choosing a path. One can ride a wave with grace and awareness, or be in for a bumpy ride. A bumpy ride is when instead of fully experiencing the wave you’ve been given, you spend your time looking at the other waves, wondering which one is better.

Looking at decisions: isn’t that often an impossible place to be? We can evaluate from afar, from a place of distance or time when we can be objective, but in the moment we just do not know. In other words, it is all about quality of life. What makes you feel healthy and whole? What are you tolerating because you belief you have to? After reading the address I felt more at ease with myself and willing to be present for my current ‘ride’.

You can read the full commencement address by Anna Quindlen here:


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