What We Organize Our Life Around

When I walk into the teahouse downtown, the air is warm, the chairs are soft, the smell is a gentle blend of ginger and honey. 

Everything about the place says, Stay. Linger. The teahouse has organized itself around being hospitable and welcoming. 

When I walk into the gas station, bright light shines on snacks in bright bags and sodas in bright bottles. The aisles are wide and uncluttered.

The gas station has organized itself around convenience, grabbing and going and getting on with your life. 

When I walk into my hometown credit union, the tellers greet me by name, ask about my father, compliment my mother's garden. 

The credit union has organized itself around community and belonging. 

So, let's bring this closer to home: If someone walked into your life or mine, what would they say we organize it around? Or what would we hope they would say we organize it around? 

What virtues and values would they use to describe it? Energetic and inclusive? Hurried and harried? Generous and creative? Something entirely different? 

Often, our lives just so happen to organize around things - appointments, projects, health issues. It's incidental and unthinking. But at any point, we can choose to organize our world around the ways of being that matter most to us. 

Appointments, projects, health issues don't go away. But how we hold them and move through them is guided by virtues we consciously choose.

Sweeping and enormous as this may sound, the only way we can organize our life around these chosen virtues is moment by common moment. Which is more than enough. After all, moments strung together become hours, become weeks, become years, become the whole arc of our life. 

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