The Tapestry of Life

10 months ago | posted: 05-20-2023 12:00 AM

It's been a while since I have taken a vacation. We all experience it. We are too busy to take the proper time to step away from our lives. The idea of a vacation is going somewhere to relax and get away from the day-to-day grind. I have always felt that taking time off from work was a type of "recharging of the batteries" and reorientate myself. I do understand the idea of relaxing to offload stress built up over months of hard work, but for me vacation has always been a time to reflect and gain perspective on life and determine what it truly means. A vacation gives me energy, motivation, and to help orientate the future me in the right direction.

This week, we took a short trip to Orange Beach to just unwind a bit. Once again it was a great opportunity to explore the meaning of it all once again. It is interesting that every time I come to this bright white sandy beach, I go through the same routine of unpacking all that has transpired in my life and put it all together to make sense of it. It is like defragmenting a computer's hard drive. I know. I know. That's a bit nerdy but stick with me here. I am still unpacking looking for the better metaphor.

I have always viewed life through the prism of what I have created for my family, friends, and myself as well as being thankful of experiencing what others have created. The older I get, the more I realize that I have included my co-workers in this group as well. Over the years this has been the part of separating a career from just a job. Looking at things this way has taught me a lot. It puts life in perspective in a way that humbles and aligns me with where the future of my life needs to be pointed.

Life is like a tapestry of experiences that teaches us things.  A part of living life is picking up the thread and needle and to be an active participant in creating the tapestry. The tapestry is an interesting metaphor because it is not just me gazing on my tapestry that I've created but observing the tapestry that I have created with others. Each of us have lives but we all live together.

Each colorful thread of the tapestry lines up with other threads. The threads that I have weaved in are there next to threads sewn by others. Building the ideal tapestry is always the hard part as so many people are working it together at the same time. It can be quite messy. Colors must coordinate and what I have put there has to work with what others have put there as well. If they do not coordinate or work well together, it is time to pull that thread out and replace it with another.

Let's unpack this a little more. Making the perfect life together with someone often means working closely together to make our part of this massive tapestry work. It is hard to make a life with someone if only one of you is pulling the strings. Are you pulling the strings by your own design or trying the pull the strings for the person you claim to love? Maybe encouraging the other person to participate is needed. Are they not pulling enough? Creating this tapestry seems to be complicated the more you think about it. It gets more complicated if you must teach kids to participate or maybe take care of an elderly loved one and help them pull as well.

Vacation is that time to step back and see what has been created. It is then that you notice how well you, your friends, your family, and your coworkers have done. Sometimes it is a mess, and you can see where the work is needed. Other parts are beautiful, and the threads line up just perfectly. Overall there is a tapestry there to be interpreted and gain meaning from.

Digging my feet in the white sands has taught me so much. It is a great place to become focused on what truly matters. A good pina colada or a cold beer helps a bit too. Just don't try to thread a needle after too many. All the unpacking is done for now and it is time to drift off the next thought while waves crash at my feet. Maybe the next color thread will be ultramarine blue.


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