Last night I was video chatting with one of my best friends Kaitlyn (who I wrote about here: https://abbeygallagher.wordpress.com/2013/04/06/meet-cha-cha/) and she decided to give me suggestions of things to write about for some upcoming posts. She kept the list short and ended with, “Oh yea, and if you could…can you please write about the meaning of life?” Sure Kaitlyn, because I’m such an expert on that one.
And since I’ve realized my best ideas come to me while I’m either showering or brushing my teeth, I headed to the bathroom with toothbrush and paste in hand. As I scrubbed away at my pearly whites (rather aggressively–the dentist is never happy with me) I realized I don’t have any answer for Kaitlyn about the meaning of life. I do however know some things that give life meaning.
So coming to you from my stuffy NYU dorm I give you:
THE THINGS THAT GIVE LIFE MEANING: ABBEY GALLAGHER STYLE
1. Cats. Or pets in general. They are cute and cuddly (for the most part) and are always there when you need them. They are perfectly content to listen to you talk about how you and your ex-lover broke up when all your friends are sick of it. And unlike that ex-lover, they never fight with you. Plus, they are so darn cute:
even when they’re grumpy:
and even when they’re naked:
2. Frozen yogurt. Because finally, there is a place where I am allowed to have all the toppings I want on a sundae and don’t have to feel guilty for making the waiter write them all down. And besides being delicious, it’s an opportunity to get together with friends and enjoy a night out.
3. Sunsets. Or sunrises. The simplicity of the sun rising and setting is often an act of nature that is often taken for granted. I highly recommend taking a morning and evening once in a while to stop and simply enjoy the beauty of the natural world that we live in. You won’t regret it.
4. Books. Books to entertain. Books to instruct. Books to inform. Bad books, mediocre books, any books. Story books. Cook books. Old books. New books. Books, books, books. And not just having the books! Reading the books!
5. Music. In a few short minutes, a song can take the listener (or the musician playing) on an emotional journey that cannot be replicated in any other art form. It’s hard to describe in words the importance of music and even though I have this pretty picture below, I think you should just go listen to your favorite song right now.
6. Helping others. While it’s nice to go on and enjoy our very exciting and interesting and busy lives, it is very important to give back to others. This could be by financially helping a friend when they need it, volunteering at an animal shelter or nursing home, or teaching a child a new skill. However you do it, you’ll be surprised to know that yes, you’re helping someone out, but the reward of that feeling will stay with you long after you commit the act.
7. Family. This can include the people that raised you and love you unconditionally and the friends who love you with no obligation. They are the people who choose to be a part of your life and that you choose to keep in it. They make you feel important and understood. They encourage you to pursue dreams and help create new ones. These are the people you share your life with, who make it all worth while.
From left: my Grandma, Grandpa, Mom, Dad, and Auntie Barbara
In other words– much shorter words–the things that give life meaning (for me) are:
- Our non-human creature friends
- The beauty of the natural world
Although I don’t have the meaning of life for Kaitlyn, I do know that it has to do with being happy. And I know that all the things I’ve listed above do that for me.
And whenever I am worried that there is no meaning at all, I think about what my dad asked me one hot summer night: “Why is there something instead of nothing?”
I’d love for you to share what gives your life meaning in the comment box below! Have a great day everyone and keep doing the things that give your life meaning!