The Secret to Life (No, Really, I Mean It!!!)
I spent a week at my 93 year old grandfather’s this month while our house had work done on it. It didn’t take long for me to realize I’d see very little of my grandfather. You see, he has a lady-friend he visits every evening, and we’d not get to his house after work before he’d have left for his date and we’d be asleep by the time he returned.
At a crawfish boil over the weekend, I mentioned our living arrangements to a friend and she told me about a recent visit she had with her grandparents. Overall, her impression was that they have their lives organized around doctor visits. Many of her grandparents’ friends have died, they have trouble getting around, and they just aren’t interested in doing too much. In the end, my friend made the comment, “It’s just the same thing week after week. It’s so sad.”
I thought to myself whether her description of her grandparents’ lives were very different from my own. My week-to-week is very methodical and similar: Work, carpool, appointments, housework, time spent with family. Rinse, repeat.
But then I thought more about my grandfather, who also is on a regime of week-to-week identical living. What sets him apart from my friend’s description of her grandparents is that my grandfather has his almost-daily dates with his lady-friend instead of appointments with various doctors.
And that’s when the Secret to Life was thus revealed to me, in all its simplicity: Life is best lived when we are looking forward to something. Period. It really is that simple.
Aren’t work days and doctors appointments mere formalities the week before a vacation? Don’t the hours spent in the office go faster when you get close to completing a major work project? When you see the light at the end of the tunnel and you KNOW it will get done, and soon?
Thus, if you are my friend’s grandparents who only have doctors’ appointments and being told what your blood pressure is and whether or not you’ll have to change your medications in which to look forward, life can certainly get dull and mundane.
We need joys in our life. But even more, we need joys in which we KNOW are coming, that are expected. Because it is that expectation that consumes our time far more than the actual realization of the joy itself. So I guess whoever said life is about the journey not the destination really knew what he was talking about. Especially if he gave that journey a whole lot of thought before setting out.