Saturday, February 26, 2011

Love Life and Live Life to the Fullest

written by Stephie Goldfish

“Therefore, the way I am running is not uncertainly; the way I am directing my blows is so as not to be striking air…” ~ Apostle Paul (1 Corinthians 9:26)

Lately, I’ve been thinking of my life and what I’d leave behind for others to remember me by.

“What would you like for your epitaph to read?” she asked me.

I had to really think what I would want people to remember about me. Would it read something like:  Stephie Goldfish, one of the best artists to come out of West Virginia, or Stephie Goldfish, loved life and lived life to the fullest?

And I know why she asked me that question. Not for me to dwell on the morbidity of my death, the eventuality all of us face, but for me to stop and think about my past, present, and future direction.

I’ve been kind of in limbo over the past few years, coming to terms with living with a serious chronic illness, which has made me have to stop working secularly, and the fact that I can and want to do so much with whatever time there is left.

I’m left with so much time on my hands that most everyone I know says they would love to have my life or at least my time. They say they know exactly what they would do if they were in my position:  Move to the beach and make art, visit every art museum, write a few novels or write poetry, take walks in the park, sip tea and read books, and watch movies all the time. There is no end to their ideas.

There is a play that I saw back in the summer of 2005, called “Score”, which was a one-man show about the life of Leonard Bernstein. It told the story as if he had come back to life and had been given an opportunity to tell us all how to live our lives. I learned something so powerful from the play: that we have very little time left, and to do all we can with what time is left, and to learn from one another.

In the play, he also said to be aware of those times called twilight times, in between being awake and in deep sleep, because epiphanies will come to us, and he said to note them because they are important.

A few days after seeing “Score”, I was lying down and, in this twilight state, I heard a voice say as clear as day, “to have loved life and lived life to the fullest.”

I woke straight up and wrote that sentence or fragment down. I felt it would somehow be relevant or useful in the days to come.

And so, I find myself, almost six years later, questioning my life and life choices.

I don’t want to be seen as someone living life uncertainly and, at the same time, I don’t want to be seen as someone living life to the fullest without any thought or direction.

My friend Cheryl, over at Culture Smith Consulting, coincidentally, speaks of a Semi-circle LifeShape, which she describes is “used to illustrate a healthy rhythm of abiding and bearing fruit. Rest and Work. Pruning and growing.”

In her post, Cheryl speaks about the first commandment that God gave us, which is to be fruitful and to multiply, and in her post suggests that it isn’t just about biological reproduction, but also includes work and purpose. And this idea has given me something to think about. As Cheryl says, God cares about what we do with our days.

Last Monday, my sister and I were feeling so overwhelmed with trying to decide whether to move back home to West Virginia to be closer to help family or to try to give New York City “one more try” or whether we should just stay put for the moment.

Instead, we treated ourselves to a day of rest and relaxation.

We jumped in the car and drove out towards Jordan Lake.

Near Jordan Lake is a place called Fearrington Village, which has one of my favorite bookstores, McIntyre’s Books, and some other unique shoppes and a café.

This was one of the sanest days either of us has had in a while, and it brought me closer to what I feel I want to be doing with my days:  having quality days, where they are filled with peace and quietness, not necessarily quantity days, where one has little time to slow down the pace.

I want to bring more of these days into my life. Today is one of those days where I don’t feel rushed or pulled in any direction. I’m learning to simply be in the moment.

Related posts:  Nurturing FriendshipsSimply Grounded

What about you? Have you thought of simplifying your life? If you’d like to join in on the discussion, join us over at Culture Smith Consulting where we will be discussing how to Simplify our lives.

Culture Smith Consulting


  1. Stephie, I'm relieved to find someone else who thinks thoughts like you expressed, "...questioning my life and my life choices." Sometimes I envy others who go through life rarely thinking of such things. However, I'm not one of them. I think about God's purposes for my life so often that, at times, I think I even make Him tired.

    Your life amazes me, and I for one see evidence that you are living out your epiphany.

  2. I want my epitaph to say, "here is one who loved God and who made an eternal difference in the lives of others."

    I want to know that my life counts.

    Reminds me of this song. Have you heard it?

    I want to live a life poured out!

  3. "I don’t want to be seen as someone living life uncertainly and, at the same time, I don’t want to be seen as someone living life to the fullest without any thought or direction."

    Yes, finding that balance though can be tough.

    Today I'm simplifying by letting the house remain as is. . .a mess!

  4. Not everyone will have good things to say about me when I am gone, and yet many will I am certain - - but the only one I am really concerned about is what Jesus will say as He welcomes me home! This is a great post and really gets one to thinking and that is good.