Our Rural Roots

This Feels Like Living

Blogger Tiffany Dowell Lashmet said her family found a perfect spot with rocks for jumping while enjoying a family reunion. (DTN/Progressive Farmer photo by Tiffany Dowell Lashmet)

This summer, we had our annual family reunion at the lake. Four generations spent the day swimming, water skiing, kayaking and getting sunburned (despite certainly knowing better by this point). We also found a perfect spot with rocks for jumping.

Our rowdy crew swam from the boats over to the rocks and took turns jumping the 12ish feet to the cool, blue water below. Later, as we were driving away, my cousin looked at me and said: "Man, that feels like living."

Her line about "living life" took on life in me. I knew precisely what she meant. Jumping off those rocks stirred something bigger. The deep breath. The rush of adrenaline. The seconds suspended in the air. Sinking into the water.

Her comment has made me ask myself, despite living every single day of my life, how often do I really feel as though I'm living? If I am honest, the answer is not nearly enough. It can be so easy to get caught up in the day-to-day moments and miss the rest.

The chores that need done, the laundry pile that never seems to go away, paying the bills ... all those things are necessary. But, after that day at the lake, I've thought more about what else brings that thrill of unabashed joy.

The answer differs, of course. Not everyone wants to jump off a cliff. For me, living means watching the sunset, white water rafting, dancing on Bourbon Street, watching my kids lead their cattle into the show ring, going on a good run and hiking in the Swiss countryside.

Whatever your answer might be, pinpointing these moments can be the first step to finding ways to create more of them. There's no time like the present to get busy finding things that feel like living.


Tiffany Dowell Lashmet balances family, farming, living and a career in ag law from the Texas Panhandle. Follow her blog at https://alwaysafarmkid.com/… on Instagram alwaysafarmkid and on X, formerly known as Twitter, @TiffDowell.