Life is constant change. Some are planned; others sneak upon us.
What have been some of the most significant transitions in your life?
For me, getting a driver’s license was huge. In retrospect, it signaled the end of childhood. I will never forget my first solo outing behind the wheel and the pure exhilaration of punching down the gas pedal, free from parental supervision and control!
Graduating from college, getting a real job, and having a little discretionary income was also a big deal. Previously, sub-sandwiches were a rare luxury.
Of course, marriage and children eclipse all of these!
Even in retirement, transitions continue. Last year we welcomed our first grandchild to the family, bringing more changes than I could ever have imagined!
Being habitually forward-focused and goal-oriented, I have always looked forward to what’s next, at least until recently.
The other day, it finally occurred to me that I’ve probably reached an age where the present has more to offer than the future!
For me, that might be the biggest change of all!
The notion came while listening to the John Mellencamp song, “Cherry bomb.” The chorus has this line; “we were young, and we were improving,” and I thought to myself, “well, that’s certainly not true anymore!” I used to be a distance runner. Now I’m so stiff I need a good reason to pick something up off the floor.
Change is change, i.e., something we have to get used to. I think this latest one will be a good thing. I love what Maria Popova wrote this morning about attending to the present in her “Brain Pickings” blog;
“I find more and more that attention is the elemental unit of time….. The quality of our attention measures the quantity of our aliveness.”
Having done most of the things I have to do in life, I am looking forward to working on my “aliveness.”
I’ve missed some important things in life charging forward with my head down. For instance, I’m amazed by the changes I see in our granddaughter. I don’t remember those changes in our children, probably because I was too busy to notice.
My buddy Doug wrote a song titled “Enjoy the Ride.” It’s about fully appreciating what’s happening at this very moment. It’s a perfect anthem for my latest transition.
The funny thing about life is one moment, we can’t wait to get our drivers’ license, and the next, we’re “dragging our feet just to slow the circle down!”
I’m beginning to acclimate to simply enjoying the ride.
I guess it takes a lifetime to learn how to live!
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