You know those books that pull at your heartstrings? Stories that hit you deep in the gut. Before you can apply that well-worn mask of apathy that we don daily to hold our true emotions at bay, those words that weave magnificent tales slither into our souls and get us right where it hurts. Before you know it, your cheeks are tear stained, your chest feels heavy with pent up emotion, and your throat aches to wail and cry out your innermost fears and heartaches. Those are the good ones, the books that resonate so deep within you that you can’t help but mirror the tragedies in your own minds, mulling over the details and what if’s.. what if this happened to me? What if I were in that position? And when the questioning hits close to home, you crumble.
Still Alice depicts the story of a Harvard psychology professor and world-renowned linguistics researcher who develops early-onset Alzheimer’s disease at age 50. The fabric of her life is ripped out from under her in a manner of a year. She spent her life dedicated to teaching and career advancement, at times sacrificing her relationship for achievement.
Like many Americans with a career-first, then enjoy life afterwards mentality, when life doesn’t go according to plan and ends early, despair sets in. Instant regret of time poorly spent on success, materialism, and egotism develops, fear of not living a life well lived predominates. Although I doubt that I will suffer from this particular disease, this story illuminated again the mantra of live as if you had no tomorrow. Do what makes you happy now; don’t put it aside with hopes of tomorrow’s time. Live purposefully, and create a life full of daily celebration.
“All that is important is this one moment in movement. Make the moment important, vital, and worth living. Do not let it slip away unnoticed and unused.” -Martha Graham