I desire it to be guided by commas, full stops (or period), exclamation marks and question marks.
Here is how the collective works.
Commas will remind me that I need a good break from the routine. I can't be working with no end in sight. My soul can't be tethered slavishly to the profit margin dictated by another.
This break can be a break from the loaded mind, and not space (or physical location). It doesn't need to be a holiday away, but a holiday within; that is, cultivating a clarity in the mind, a new perspective in the heart, and a freedom manifest in the spirit.
In any event, richness in life is not in a number, whether in the red or black. It is in the relationships I do not take for granted along the way, and that is the only way my soul is truly enriched and fed.
Next comes full stops (period). It will remind me that I will not be here forever. I have no illusion about that. It's that taxes and death thingy.
For billionaires and paupers alike will one day return to the soil space no bigger than their body can shape.
It is thus strange that I see myself rushing from one place to another, sometimes in between breathlessness. It is as if I can extend my life with every quota or deadline I meet or with every increment, promotion and accolade I receive.
No, I can't. And the sooner I realise this the better.My life like a battery shell life is fixed. It has an expiry date. It dries up.
Sure, I can recharge with commas, go on a break, rest and relax for a period, but soon my time to go will come.
And when it comes, I want to be sure that I have diligently transformed my commas into a legacy my loved ones will be proud of. It is a legacy that leaves a trail of touched lives, inspired souls, emboldened spirits, and loved hearts behind.
More importantly, it is a legacy that ends with a fully contented period.
Then comes exclamation mark. He is the tireless muse of my life. He is my buddy of fun, surprises and wonders.
Exclamation marks are easy to miss in my hectic schedule. I missed many of them in my life as a husband and father already.
I missed the exclamation marks of my son's wonder as he was growing up. I missed the exclamation marks of my daughter giggling at what I find most childish. I missed the exclamation marks of my wife when she invited me to hold her hand, walk on the beach alone, and share an unhurried kiss as the sun sets behind us.
These are moments that enrich me beyond what money can ever do. Yet, I let them pass by because I am too busy to make ends meet.
But how can ends ever meet if all I do is to enlarge the circle of my endless appetites for more of that which can never deeply satisfy?
So, I strive to live a life that is always exclaiming in wonders, that is, a life that treasures every moment and not squeeze them for every material gain exploitable.
As such, I will let exclamation marks lead more, to allow it to open new worlds for me, even worlds that are seemingly childish, and to savour the unhurriedness of many of life's refreshing moments I have missed out.
Lastly, there is the question mark. It is said that true wisdom is to know the extent of one's ignorance, and question marks will show me the way here.
I am a stubborn man with a leviathan ego. And instead of exploring the territorial mindscape of my ignorance which is almost infinite, I often invade the mental estate of others with my hubris.
Admittedly, I deplore such times and plead for question marks to rein me in, that is, to humble me with an open mind, not a closed one.
Towards this end, the light of my question marks shall be curiosity and her soul shall be understanding; that is, seeking to understand rather than expecting to be understood.
So, there you have it, a life defined by punctuation marks with commas as my rest, full stops to remind me of life's impermanence, exclamation marks to pursue wonders, and question marks for curiosity and deeper understanding.
And if my life is an open book, I cannot do without the punctuation marks.
In a team, they work together to add meaning to every sentence and paragraph of life's stories.
They guide the pages along with flow and direction. And they leave behind a consistent narrative for all to read, and hopefully, to be inspired too.
As a master wordsmith weaves a novel of the highest standards so it is with a man (or woman) who lives his/her life in line with the highest virtues.
And a punctuated life, in the right place and time, and given their due credit, grows me towards such virtues of hope, contentment, and love - the very things that make life worth living, and pursuing. Cheerz.