Contemplating Plato

“The life which is not examined is not worth living” – Plato

Plato has a point.

But examining your life can be a difficult thing. I know it is for me.

Self-examination, of the physical sense is especially traumatizing. I’ve found a grey hair. Ok I’ve found a multitude of grey hairs. And a couple of hairs in my eyebrows are doing some REALLY “interesting” things. Once in awhile, all of a sudden one hair will flip up, and I’ll catch a glimpse of myself looking something like my dad, or my Uncle Johnny. Also, I chipped my front tooth and didn’t realize it until one little grade four student I’m working with pointed it out to me. So I’ve been going around, living life unaware of a renegade LONG eyebrow hair that bizarrely springs outward and up, and a chipped tooth.

Oh, and a pimple.

On my chin.

That I will name if it sticks around longer than the three day’s it’s already been with me.

Note to self; check self out in the mirror a little more closely in the morning before leaving the house.

Now, if you can emotionally get through the physical examination, life is indeed worth living.

However, a mental examination of self is slightly more difficult.

Especially if you’re slightly neurotic

like me.

I can mull and stew and over think a minute scenario, a casual interaction, and a miniscule glance for hours and evenings and days. And 100% of the time I’ve over-reacted. I’m learning not to do this as much. Telling myself that worry is a useless emotion. This self talk helps. I’m a master worrier. Experts have told me so. Not that I take pride in the fact, but just knowing that this is indeed part of who I am makes it less scary. I own this trait. I’m beginning to control it and shape it and chip it away.

Doing so has definitely made life worth living.

Examining the goodness specific to my life is also worthwhile. I have the best of families. Loving and devoted parents, sisters who are the best of friends, nieces I love more than life itself and brother-in-laws that are supportive and have adopted me as a sister of their own (or so it seems to me). I am a teacher. I have taught the most amazing people. People who will indeed make the world a better place not just for the cliché of “being in it” but because they are students of CHANGE. They are smart and sensitive and innovative. It is comforting to know how wonderful our future leaders will be. Over all the years they have proven to be GOOD people who will do GOOD in the world. Simply and succinctly.

In examining all of these people in my life, they indeed make life worth living.

Little accessible things in life, that on the surface appear insignificant, but in reality absolutely contribute to a life worth living: the smell and taste of fresh coffee in the morning (bonus for the Baileys). Saturday’s Globe and Mail. A good, NEW, screams to be read, latest novel from my favourite writer. A DVD box set release of my favourite show. Fresh flowers. A glass of an amazing Cabernet Sauvignon. Belly laughs.

And to en-capture and embrace all of this worthiness , I live in one of the most beautiful countries in the world. I fall asleep to blazing red sunsets and wake up to the sound of chickadees. I can witness the northern lights and an intimidating lightning storm over the course of the same evening. I live a year with four distinct seasons. Spring is quintessentially spring with pussywillows and the hatching of mallard eggs. Summer has the smell of cut lawns and the greenery of trees and the swell of mosquitoes. Fall, glorious colours, the haunting cry of geese flying south and the emergence of deer and moose (sometime bear) out of the bush. And winter. Snow. Sub zero temperatures. Hoar Frost. All coming together in Christmas card charm.

Definitely a wonderful setting for the gradual unveiling of my life.

A life worth living.

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