I remember the moment as if it were minutes ago. I was a freshman in high school and riding in the backseat of a car with one of my best friends. His older sister and her boyfriend were driving us to the Plaza Twin Movie Theater. We were talking about all of the girls that we dreamed of taking out on dates. My pal had the hots for an older lady that was off limits due to her status as a senior in high school. I remember the snickers from the front seat and the boyfriend saying, “Wow, a senior? Now I drive by the college and the students look like babies.” I was truly puzzled by these comments. I knew this guy was old, possibly over thirty, but that was no excuse for committing blasphemy. How could any person ever consider a college lady as being young?
About fifteen years ago I began teaching indoor cycling (spin) at my local gym. I live near Boise State University and heard that they were in need of some instructors. I filled out an on-line application and was quickly hired to teach one class per week. During my very first class, I remember scanning the room and wondering how these kids were able to sneak into a college spin class. Were they actually in school? Did they have driver’s licenses? Could they go to bars? Before we started class, I said, “Please raise your hand if you are over 21.” Ninety percent of the students were waving their hands in the air.
Last December, I was in Rishikesh India for a 200-hour yoga teacher training. At 53, I was twelve years older than the oldest classmate and thirty years older than the youngest. I was even three years older than my guru teacher! How did this happen?
Ninety years is 32,850 days. For a quick reality check, pull out your phone and calculate the number of days that are in your rear-view mirror. A dear friend once told that life is like a roll of toilet paper. The second half always goes faster.
Most people have a list of dreams or passions that will all be achieved or experienced at some future point in time. Many are vague dreams like traveling the world after retirement, having a certain number of dollars saved, or even writing a book. At your current pace, are any of these goals realistic?
More importantly, most of us have a future emotion that we falsely believe will be triggered by a future event. Some common thoughts are how free you will feel at retirement, how life will be blissful when the nest is empty, or how much better things will be after the promotion. For some ridiculous reason, we tolerate current unhappiness for the illusion of future happiness.
The only guarantee in this short dance is the current moment. That is the time to take action on your goals, find peace in your head, and happiness in your heart. Doing the same thing yesterday, yesterweek, and yesteryear is not a path to change. Our tombstones have a beginning and ending date. Make sure to take full advantage of the dash.