My tenth-grade English teacher once said something in class that I remember today eight years later:
How much of our lives do we spend wishing we were somewhere else? Saying we can’t wait for a moment in the future? Wishing we were X amount of years old? I hate to say it, but how many years are…wasted?
He was charismatic – one of the cool teachers – and also the coach of our high school football team, which I thought was refreshing since football coaches are not typically the type of people to drop wisdom bombshells on you in the middle of fourth period.
I don’t remember why he said that, but I do remember not being able to focus on my book for the next twenty minutes of “reading time.” Yes, partly because we were restricted to books on the literature reading list, but his wisdom throw down was really what I, and a lot of people needed (and need) to hear at the moment.
He’s right; when will we ever recognize the pattern?
When it’s Monday morning, we’re waiting for the weekend. In fact, many people “live for the weekend.” When we’re back in school after Winter Break, we can’t wait for Spring Break, and when it’s Spring Break, we’re dying for summer. We can’t wait for it to be chilly in winter so we can wear layers, and when it’s winter, we can’t stand the cold and want to walk out of the house with a tank top on. We can’t wait for college and when we’re in college, we can’t wait to be out of college. When we’ve landed our first “real” job, we’re waiting for 5pm. We’re waiting for vacation days. We’re waiting for retirement to finally spend all the money we’ve put into a 401k.
We spend our lives wishing and waiting for a different time yet when we get there it’s never enough. And then it’s painful to realize we spent our whole lives wishing we were everywhere except where we are now.
Don’t wait for your life to start.
Every second of our lives should matter. This time counts just as much as any other time.