Life is too short.
If only I’d…
If only I’d spent more time doing…
Sound familiar? It seems that in the last few months several key influencers, friends and mentors of mine have passed away. Other friends are struggling with illnesses, some of them terminal. Still others are bemoaning the fact that they are not as spry, mobile, or energetic as they used to be, and this is preventing them from traveling, working, or engaging in recreation to the extent they’d like to.
At times like these, I think the tendency for all of us as humans is to bemoan the brief time we have on this earth. Everyone wants to opine that life is too short.
I’m going to argue the other side, if you will indulge me this morning.
Life is plenty long enough. We have all the time we need. We are here exactly as long as we need to be.
As many of you know, I am writing this from an Amtrak sleeper car this morning. I’m taking a wonderful fifteen hour trip from South Carolina to New York City to attend the American Psychiatric Association Annual Meeting, and I am reveling in the time to watch the scenery go by, think my thoughts, and share some of them with you.
I just had a delightful breakfast in the dining car with a retired couple who are consummate travelers, and who are about to celebrate their sixtieth wedding anniversary. She was a teacher for thirty eight years and he was a translator for the NY State Supreme Court for forty three years. They have multiple children, one of whom is a doctor, and several grandchildren. They have traveled to meetings and other functions all around the US, and they have lived in NYC for many years. They immediately gave me tips about what to see and do in their city, including the location of one of their favorite coffee shops that I must visit.
On this trip, I have nothing but fifteen hours of time. It is neither too little nor too much. It is just enough to get me to New York City. I have already slept, watched a sunrise, had a full breakfast, read the newspaper, and written this blogpost. I have made two new friends. I’ve done all of this before nine in the morning.
Life is not too short.
Life is just long enough to look, listen, learn, and love.
You have the same fifteen hours I do today.
I’m on a train.
Where will you be?