summer roses

The Life Enthusiast Chronicles with Rebecca

Sometimes we need to hear the perfect quote at the perfect time. Whether we’re feeling low or we’re on a high, words from another person’s soul have a way of romancing us, don’t they?

In this month’s segment of The Life Enthusiast Chronicles, I reached out to a person who always has the right things to say…Rebecca Budd of Chasing Art, who many of you know as Clanmother.

Besides the wonderful historical stories she writes about on her blog and the gorgeously uplifting images she sends us on Twitter, Rebecca has a knack for sprinkling our lives with inspiration.

These are just some of the quotes she has left me in the comment section of my blog over the years I have known her…

“To get the full value of joy you must have someone to divide it with.” – Mark Twain

“Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it.” – Hellen Keller

”The privilege of a lifetime is being who you are.” – Joseph Campbell

“There is a pleasure in the pathless woods,
There is a rapture on the lonely shore,
There is society, where none intrudes,
By the deep sea, and music in its roar:
I love not man the less, but Nature more.”
– Lord Byron

So, I had to ask Rebecca to join my band of Life Enthusiasts and tell us what it is that makes her so enthusiastic about life.

Connect with Rebecca on Twitter and Facebook.

Take it away, Clanmother!

______________________________

rebecca budd

I am absolutely delighted to join the remarkable group of “Life Enthusiasts.” That title alone gives me goosebumps.

Britt’s message was a serendipitous prompt to reflect on the joy of connecting. For that is what makes our lives strong, builds resilience, gives courage to the circuitous path we follow, and grants enthusiasm to our days.

Over the past few days there have been profound reminders of why I am enthusiastic about life. For me, it all begins with engagement in the world around me.

vancouver

Recently, I had a telephone conversation with a young woman who is in the process of setting up a Gaelic on-line course to revive an ancient language. I was moved when a young man shared a new song that he wrote and produced. A few weeks ago, I watched my son perform in a mass bagpipe band at the Victoria Highland Games.

I find pleasure in reciting a poem aloud to an audience of one or sharing a coffee with a dear friend. And then there was the call at midnight from my neighbour asking me to stay with her while she waited for an ambulance. The journey, the story of humanity, the miracle of living: that is what makes my life enthusiastic.

flowers on the water

I have entered my sixth decade! I lived during the counterculture revolution of the 60’s and early 70’s, the excesses of the 80’s, the technological advances of the 90’s, and the globalization that accompanied the dawn of a new century.

I now live in a world where communication takes place in seconds and ideas really do spread like wildfire. Looking back, I smile at the memory of a young girl, wearing a floppy hat, strumming a guitar and singing “Let the Sunshine In.” She believed that life was full of possibilities.

Now, nearly a half century later, I can confirm, without hesitation, that her conviction was well-founded.  Life is indeed full of possibilities. That is what makes my life enthusiastic.

We live in a fast-pace, ever-changing mercurial world that offers complex, even contradictory problems that have no easy solutions. But together, the likelihood of problem-solving is given exponential strength.

wildflowers

Creating an environment that encourages participation and the exchange of knowledge allows us to envision a wider range of positive outcomes. What better way than to celebrate the efforts of those who strive to make a difference; to recognize the successes of others; to applaud, from the sidelines, when someone accepts the risk of the unknown.

That is what makes my life enthusiastic.

What is it like to be in my sixties? I feel powerful, simply because of the connections that I have made over my lifetime.

Aging is not frightening; rather, it is liberating for there is an appreciation that what we do, even in a small, seemingly insignificant way, can introduce a fresh attitude, a spontaneous change in a new direction. My dear friends, that is what makes my life enthusiastic.

38 thoughts on “The Life Enthusiast Chronicles with Rebecca

    • Clanmother says:

      My dear friend, what a wonderful journey we have been on together. We started blogging at the same time – do you remember? Last year, your post on de-cluttering sent me on a wide de-cluttering project that lasted over three months. What a joy it was to recognize, even at my lofty age, that “less is more.” Now, I clutter my life with friendships. Hugs!!

    • Clanmother says:

      When I read your comments, the first thought that came to mind was a quote by Anais Nin: “Each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born.” I am delighted to meet you and share the joy of connection. Have a wonderful day – you made mine brilliant.

  1. Letizia says:

    I always love, love, love to read anything you write. And you are so correct, coming together is the best way to approach things, even if moments of solitude bring such joy as well. I was particularly touched by the story of your neighbor who called you to keep her company as she waited for the ambulance because not only does that show how she reached out in a moment of vulnerability, but the strength of your friendship.

    • Clanmother says:

      Dear Letizia, you have been a inspiration to me. Your love of literature, poetry, art is a testament to the heart of humanity. Your last post on “Judging a Book Cover” was amazing. And your post on Thomas Jefferson’s Bible sent me on a mini-research project. Now I have the Jefferson Bible on my Kindle. There are moments that transcends the ordinary, when we know that our greatest and most important task is to be compassionate. Did you know that June 8th is the unofficial “Best Friends Day?” I am celebrating our friendship.

      • Letizia says:

        Your words are so sweet. I celebrate our friendship as well! And thank Britt for showcasing your writing and ideas on her amazing blog!

      • Clanmother says:

        Britt’s idea of the Life Enthusiasts Chronicles is truly extraordinary! I can’t help myself – I must add a quote!!! “What should young people do with their lives today? Many things, obviously. but the most daring thing is to create stable communities in which the terrible disease of loneliness can be be cured.’ Kurt Vonnegut. What Britt does with her blog, is to create a compassionate and vital community. Kurt would be impressed!!!

  2. danniehill says:

    What a great post, Rebecca. I often longer for the simpler life but technology does have its place. I’m also enjoying my 60s and except for a few extra visits to the doctor I must say it’s grand.

    • Clanmother says:

      I laughed when I read the part of about the extra visits!!! I just was at my dentist this morning to tell her that one of my crowns simply gave up and decided to make a speedy exit from my mouth. When it comes to my teeth, I feel like I’m in a Shakespearean tragedy. I love being in my 60’s! I feel like I’m just at the beginning of something amazing. Maybe it’s because I’m willing to take on more risk. Your posts prompted me to look back at the beginnings of the SPCA and the history of animal rights. We have come a long way, but there are “many mile to go….” Thank you for all you do!!

    • Clanmother says:

      I am delighted to hear you like the bagpipes!! Here’s a Scottish Proverb for you: “Twelve Highlanders and a bagpipe make a rebellion.” Thank you for your comments – they are truly appreciated.

      • heylookawriterfellow says:

        Wait. You need a dozen to start a rebellion? I would think as few as three proud Scots would suffice.

        In case you need evidence of my bagpipe fandom, btw, I attended Carnegie Mellon University, the only college in America with a bagpipe major. (I, however, majored in Graphic Design.)

      • Clanmother says:

        I just went on the website – truly amazing. From Bagpipe Construction to Reed-making, to Bagpipe Maintenance to bagpipe history to the ancient piobaireachd. I am going to tell my son about this!!! He is taking economics at Simon Fraser University and is part of the SFU Bagpipe Organization. I am looking forward to following your blog! Thankyou!!!

    • Clanmother says:

      Thank you, Dianne! I just visited your blog and am delighted to advise that I am following! I love being one of Britt’s “Life Enthusiasts” because I have had the privilege of connecting with kindred spirits. What was it that Anne Shirley said (I’m Canadian so often quote L.M. Montgomery):

      “Kindred spirits are not so scarce as I used to think. It’s splendid to find out there are so many of them in the world.” L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables

      So glad that we met!

      • Aquileana says:

        Beautiful feature, dear Rebecca… Plus, I love your pic ❤ Thanks for being such an inspiration!… sending love & best wishes. Aquileana 😀

      • Clanmother says:

        Thank you, Aquileana! I am so glad that I connected with this compassionate community. Friends add drama and colour to our lives. Together we generate enormous possibilities. Many hugs and lots of love coming your way….

    • Clanmother says:

      I am celebrating our connection. When I pressed the “publish’ button for the first time five years or so ago, I had no idea how amazing our journey would be. To think that we met on line and ended up having tea at the Scottish National Gallery. We live an ocean apart, but in terms of “blogger miles” we are neighbours!

  3. Andrea Stephenson says:

    Thanks for sharing this Britt, it’s great to hear form another life enthusiast. Rebecca, what a joyful, enthusiastic post! I love the quotes and I love this unique perspective on what makes your life enthusiastic: ‘The journey, the story of humanity, the miracle of living’ – great summary of what it means to be alive.

  4. Clanmother says:

    I am so glad that we are connected! I am convinced that we chose our destiny with every word we chose, every decision we make, every path we take. What may seem like a simple interaction can turn into a life around. For example, today I am heading out the Highland Games that takes place every year in Burnaby, B.C. The only reason why I will be there is because a young bagpiper took time to talk to my son – 13 years ago. It was a five minute conversation, but the ramifications have been remarkable. My son is a bagpiper and we follow the call of the bagpipe. Life is good!!! Hugs coming your way…

    • Clanmother says:

      Dear Dallas – what a wonderful thought. I look forward to our daily conversations. Just a few days ago I was looking at a map and found that there was only about 6 inches between Canada and the U.K. You see – we don’t live that far away from each other. Thank you for adding joy to my days…

    • Clanmother says:

      If Mike takes up the bagpipes, make sure you get a good set of earplugs!!! 🙂 I promise – Following the bagpipes takes you on marvelous adventures.

      One of my favorite passages from JRR Tolkien, to which I turn in difficult times is (sticky note on my computer) :
      “I wish it need not have happened in my time,” said Frodo.
      “So do I,” said Gandalf, “and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given.”

      It is so easy to think that our actions make very little difference in the course of history. But I have seen the “power of one” set the world on a different course.

      So glad that we are connected!

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