I wanted to call this category “Renaissance Living” but didn’t want to appear presumptuous or portray something I’m not. Ideally my attitude over the last 25 years has been to try and mimic the adventurous spirit of discovery that my grandmother, Elsie Lacy, embraced in her life. For me, growing up as a child, my grandmother was a beacon of getting out of her comfort zone and experiencing as much about life and culture as she could.
She didn’t have a college education but she didn’t let that deter her spirit of adventure. I’ve never been clear if she always had elements of being a renaissance woman throughout her life or just in her last 25 to 30 years. She read voraciously, she painted in oils, she learned to play the organ, she would take me and my brothers everywhere. She would take us to the fair each year and didn’t shy away from walking through the livestock pavilion and dodging animal droppings everywhere – making sure we visited everything. Some of the other places she wanted to make sure I experienced:
- The old river wharf with its old boats
- Regular trips to the library
- The old Seventh Street train depot to see a vintage steam engine
- A civil rights march in the 60s
- Speed Art Museum
- Shakespeare In the Park
- Historic neighborhoods with their beautiful homes
- Parks throughout Jefferson County
- The Devonian fossil beds on the river
- She took my youngest brother on a train trip to Florida to visit her son’s family
It seemed like her goal was to expand her (and her grandchildren’s) wings far beyond the mundane daily lives of most people. She even told me she shot the Falls of the Ohio in a canoe when she was a teenager. Now, that’s what I call living!
Her influence affected me greatly. I’ve always seemed to want to build, create, read, learn, discover, travel, see, do, experience – seizing as much of the vibrancy of life as possible.
My goal is to become the maximum individual I can be in this brief time on Earth; to delve into as many passions and interests as possible; and to learn and discover as much as possible.
So, for me, Enriched Living includes . . . .
- Growth & Self-Actualization
- Wonder & Living Enriched with Meaning & Gratitude
- Finances & Prosperity
- Purpose & Vision
Growth & Self-Actualization
Move beyond self-imposed limitations. Learn and discover as much as possible. Cultivate a deep desire to constantly refine and change – to grow to my maximum. To live with an extremely high level of self-confidence. Challenge my beliefs and paradigms. Expand both my right (artistic) and left (analytic) sides of my brain. Live beyond the mundane. Question, seek, discover, soar. Create and savor an awesome, enriched life.
Wonder & Living Enriched
Seek out and appreciate beauty and wonder wherever it can be found. Satiate the soul by experiencing and creating beauty. Feed your passion for a full and meaningful life. Embrace gratitude. Live the life you imagine. Get things done. Don’t be a couch potato. Experience as much as you can. See as much of the world as you can. Live as much of a Renaissance life as possible. Expand your horizons.
Finances & Prosperity
Define your own success and prosperity. Practice some sound financial behavior. Eliminate your debt. Plan for your retirement but don’t entirely abandon a pleasant life now for a distant future. Understand “want” versus “need.” When is enough, enough? Live enriched without spending unwisely. Make smart decisions – not simply what everyone else is doing.
Purpose & Vision
Identify your mission in life. What is your purpose? What is a vision versus goals? Do some life planning. Visualize. Don’t aim too low. Tackle big stuff by ‘chunking’ it into more sizable bites. Live intentionally and passionately. Seek truth. Relish in the spirit of discovery. Think for yourself. Control your own destiny. Don’t go to the grave with the song still in you.
Enriched Living . . . .
Ultimately you should have an inner sense of genuine satisfaction, sincere gratitude, wonder and awe at the beauty of nature and resonating art, a high-level of self-confidence and growth satisfaction. Make sure you get out of your comfort zone and experience as much as possible. Create your own personal aesthetic at home that resonates with your soul (your “Elysium”).
Don’t forget that there’s even a beautiful aesthetic in discovery of little-known truths and elegant knowledge. Seek truth, beauty and freedom.