My father passed this past week, peacefully and painlessly. He’d been in home hospice for a time, having survived a fight with chronic lymphocytic leukemia but lost to the chemotherapy and resulting pneumonia and immune system destruction. Cancer, and chemo suck. On this we all agree.
I’ve been asked, on more than one occasion, how I manage to multitask between a day job, winery, writing, and family life. Why do I take on so much? What drives me?
About a month ago I spoke with my father and his frustrations over ‘laying around doing nothing.’ He despised his inability to be productive and perceived his incomplete projects as signs of failure. I had to remind him, the psychologist, that no matter when he’d become infirm, something would have been left undone, because he always had so many things on his plate. Even at 77. He loved keeping busy.
He was, always and ever, fully engaged in life. It may not have been the choices you or I would have made, but he dove in and in the process touched countless lives.
After his passing my son shared the following poem with my husband:
An old silent pond…
A frog jumps into the pond,
splash! Silence again.
‘The old pond’ by Matsuo Basho
Translated by William J. Higginson
My son explained how we’re the frog, and our life is the pond. The splash is the impact we have, and we only have this one jump to do it right, so you have to splash HARD! Really commit to that moment, because you don’t know until afterwards who you’re going to get wet.
He’s eight, but he gets it.
I choose where I commit my energy, and then go all in. There are no halfway points for me. Once you commit yourself fully to your jump, you’ll discover how your mind settles in to support you. (And often, everyone around you. Enthusiasm is contagious.) I promise.
Now get out of here and get on with your splash.