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Life must be lived as we go along

Fri, Dec 30th, 2005
Posted in Commentary

The end of the year is as good a time as any for reflection. One year comes to an end, another begins. Perhaps, we are worn out on the one hand - 365 days of good and bad all piled up into an exhaustive collection of events. And, yet, on the other hand, we see the upcoming year with hopeful optimism. And so it was that on the Monday after Christmas I was sorting through some files at home, throwing out outdated papers, when I ran across a piece of paper with a short message on it. I dont know who wrote it or who gave it to me or when I received it or even why I kept it, stuffing it into an empty file. Nonetheless the message gave me pause for reflection.

Tucked away in our subconscious is an idyllic vision. We see ourselves on a long trip that spans the continent. We are traveling by train. Out the window we drink in the passing scene of cars on nearby highways, of children waving at a crossing, of cattle grazing on a distant hillside, or smoke pouring from a power plant, or row upon row of corn and wheat, of flatlands and valleys, of mountains and rolling hillsides, of city skylines and village halls.But uppermost in our minds is the final destination. On a certain day of a certain hour we will pull into the station. Bands will be playing and flags waving. Once we get there, so many wonderful dreams will come true and the pieces of our lives will fit together like a completed jigsaw puzzle. How restlessly we pace the aisles, damning the minutes for loitering - waiting, waiting for the station.When we reach the station, that will be it! we cry. When Im 16.When I buy a new 450 Mercedes Benz!When I put the last kid through college.When I have paid off the mortgage!When I get a promotion.When I reach the age of retirement, I shall live happily ever after.Sooner or later we must realize there is no station, no place to arrive at once and for all. The true joy of life is the trip. The station is only a dream. It constantly outdistances us.It isnt the burdens of today that drive men mad. It is the regrets over yesterday and the fear of tomorrow. Regret and fear are twin thieves who rob us of today.So, stop pacing the aisles and counting miles. Instead, climb more mountains, eat more ice cream, go barefoot more often, swim more rivers, watch more sunsets, laugh more -- cry less. Life must be lived as we go along. The station will come soon enough.

Author unknown.

So, as we face 2006 as a tabula rasa - a blank slate that will be filled in as we go along, take time for the moment. Remember that the true joy of life is the trip.Happy New Year!

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