I just finished reading the obituary for one of my aunts who passed away earlier today. As most of us do, I looked at the dates of her life. Date of birth and Date of death. In the middle is where all of us are at now. The dash.
What are we doing with the dash? That’s our present. We have already been born and we don’t know what the date we will finish with. We only have right now to live. Are we making the best of it?
Life is full of unknowns. We can make plans but somehow something or someone happens that changes the course of what we had thought our life was headed.
When I left home in 1982 just a few weeks after graduation, I would have never imagined I would be doing the job I am doing now in Nashville, Tennessee.
Some people live in one place their entire life while others move from place to place. Life is full of adventures and unexpected happenings along the way. Time and chance happen to all of us. Decisions determine the course of our lives but the good and bad ones. When we make good decisions life seems good and we think everything is right with the world. When we make bad decisions and think we have really screwed up our lives, we really haven’t. The important thing is to adjust to the course. Much like our GPS maps do when we make a wrong turn or going in the wrong direction. We adjust our course to get on the right road.
It’s easy to get down on ourselves when we think life hasn’t worked out the way we wanted. We all have dreams but sometimes we never achieve those things we dreamt about. Does that mean we have wasted our lives? Absolutely not. Does that mean we can’t have a happy life? No, it doesn’t.
Live the dash. Live right now.
When I left home I was intent on making the military my career but after eight years I made the decision to leave active duty and pursue other things. I went through several twists and turns before I have ended up here today in Nashville, Tennessee. I am happier than I could have ever imagined.
It isn’t about a job. It was certainly not about money or plans. It is about the dash. The now. While I am not particularly fond of working to pay the bills, it is a necessity and someone has to be the responsible one. But, even in doing this, you can still live a good life. I don’t like bills, owing the IRS or dealing with incompetent people but I make the choice of whether or not that affects my happiness.
How are you spending your dash? Does your life reflect who you really are? Do you fill the hours in your day with people and things that make you smile? If not, is there one small thing you could change to move in that direction?
You know the date you were born. Don’t obsessed over the ending date. Look at the dash. What are you doing with that? The dash is what you will be remembered by the most.