Reflections On The Art of Living

by Chris de Serres

I’ve been reading this book for about 10 years now.  I am afraid to finish it.  If I do then it means I must use the advice it gives.  To do the things it stirs me to do.  I always pictured my life as an adult differently.  I took for granted that the breakthrough would come.  I didn’t understand that I would have to work for it.  I would need to be ready to use the moment.  I just sort of thought I would get swept up in it and my life would magically change.

Yet, we never get away from who we truly are.  We can blame our partners, parents, chlidren, coworkers, and all the others.  The lone consistency is only you.  Now i’m blaming myself for not having done it.  Does it take 40 years to realize who we must be?  Maybe longer.  Maybe the moment happens right before death.  Our final relief.

The crazy thing about realization is how often I find my realization is not always right.  I realize that my marriage is ending but then we survive the next day.  The day after and on and on.  I realize that no one really knows me, but then my daughter walks up to me and says quite matter-of-factly, “Daddy, I know everything about you.”  I don’t believe in a God or religion, but I believe in that.

There’s this idea that having children changes us.  It forces us to look at ourselves because my daughter is the mirror.  We still have to come to our realizations.  We still have to take the step.  To find our voice.  That is not given.

This book can’t quite be finished.  Not by me.  I’m still trying.

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