Sunday, September 6, 2009

Rowing Across The Pacific


And here I thought I was the only one. Well, that's not true, strictly speaking. I knew there had to be others, but I hadn't met any, and so the field seemed kind of lonely. But this morning, I've met a kindred spirit.

Her name is Roz Savage and at this moment, she's rowing across the Pacific -- alone. She prefers doing it that way because, for one thing, if there's a mutiny, it's pretty easy to put down. She has a support team that meets her at various locations along the way and she maintains contact by iPhone.

How did all this start? The short version is, she was married, working as a consultant, and making a nice living. She had the life to which many aspire and still, there was something essential missing. While riding a commuter train, she set about working on two versions of her obituary -- an interesting approach to self-evaluation. The first was her life as she might have wished it to be. The second was the life she had been living. The difference was startling and she (like me a few years ago) realized she didn't want to arrive at the "station" saddled with regrets. Right here is where we connected.

So, she began making incremental changes, shedding the trappings of her old life, to begin the pursuit of one she felt was truly worth living. She's learned a lot in the process and one thing she's said has really stuck with me: if you repeat what you're doing today, every day for the next 365, will you be closer to or further from the life you wish to live?

I'll be the first to admit, not everyone can or needs to become a Roz Savage. This is her story, mine is mine, and yours is, of course, your own. Still, her's is well worth reading because she's living in a way that she finds to be genuine. I think that's the real point. Not whether I've abandoned home and hearth to do whatever, but am I living my life in a way that leads to fulfillment, joy, enhances love, and enables me to face the inevitable without regret. Not always and not everyone, but some of us may have to row the equivalent of an ocean or two to get there.

Image by Getty Images via Daylife)
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