Yesterday, I shared a metaphor about how to me, life is a runway – I have more behind me than in front of me.
Others shared their view of life as a highway.
I think it is the beauty of this space in life where every perspective has value. There is no one metaphor for life. It is a journey and as so many people chimed in and said, it’s about quality and living each moment we are here to its fullest.
Curious, I went in search of other metaphors for life and found these on VeryWellMind, along with some wise counsel on the importance of occasionally checking our metaphors for life to ensure they are not limiting. Where once they worked, maybe today they don’t.
Some examples of metaphors for life from VeryWellMind include: "Life is a song; we each get to write our own lyrics." "Life is a puzzle; you can only see the picture when you put all the pieces together." "Life is a garden; with care and love you can cultivate beautiful flowers." "Life is a classroom; you'll always be learning new things."
Metaphors are important. They ignite the imagination, give us a visual context that can open us up to new perspectives by comparing a figurative example to open us up to seeing a situation, person, thing from a creative/different viewpoint. s
The metaphor I used yesterday of the runway was triggered by a conversation at the board retreat for THIRD ACTion Film Fest which I attended on Saturday. (If you haven’t checked THIRD ACTion out – DO! – though I’m sorry if you’re not in Canada you won’t be able to view any of the films online.)
In the retreat, we were talking about ageism. A couple of my fellow board members said they’d never experienced ageism.
I shared the story of how, when I was looking to leave the workforce in 2019, the board had asked if I would stay on. I told them that in good conscience, I could only commit to a maximum two-year timeline. Their response was, “We need more runway.”
That phrasing has sat with me for a long time. I’ve been curious about it — when I gave a two-year timeline I was acutely aware that at almost 66 I wasn’t sure if I had the energy and drive to continue to hold such a high-pressure, demanding role. Especially as the role of an Executive Director of a not-for-profit is seldom 9 to 5.
I had other things I wanted to do in my life and, as so many people commented yesterday, Quality counts.
Quality time with my beloved, my family, quality time doing the things I love, like writing, painting, walking, teaching art-journalling, and participating in art shows – are all very important to me and my mental health. Not to mention my overall sense of well-being, feeling balanced, and embodied in this present moment.
All of which, inspired me to consider what metaphor best describes my life today.
Life is like a giant loom upon which I weave, every day, a beautiful tapestry that is the living picture of my life.
Of course, as I am a wordsmith and love to dive deep into what stirs my spirit into soaring, I had to write more about my tapestry…
My tapestry is made of up beautiful, colourful ribbons. Each ribbon brings its own value, tone, hue,depth, width, and sense of being to the warp and weave. Some ribbons are woven all the way through, some ended their journey into the tapestry long ago, and some I’m just discovering as i continue to load my loom with vibrant hues of life unfolding in all its mystery, majesty and wonder.
How fast I weave is up to me. Life itself will determine when my tapestry is done. All life asks of me is to keep weaving as much joy, laughter, beauty, peace, harmony and Love into the warp and weft of my life, every day.
Do you have a metaphor for your life?
If you do, I hope you feel this is a safe and courageous space to share it.