I legitimately believed that life would begin the day I got my very own library card. I was not keen on waiting to receive this shiny piece of plastic and was not particularly excited to learn how to sign a book out or how to use the “card catalog.” I simply wanted this little card, an emblem of freedom to me: freedom to discover, to read, to learn; in and out of school. And as we all probably have heard, there is nothing worse than waiting for life to begin.
Although we are awake for nearly 16 hours out of the day, going this place and that place, here and there, we still dare to subsidize life into “meaningful events.” Life does not take place while we sit in the classroom or at the desk for eight hours of the day. No, no, life takes place afterward, when we go out for the night or we attend that party we have been waiting for. We prepare for life when we buy that new top to wear next Friday or we book plane tickets for our trip in June. But how silly of us to believe that life is happening at any time before these events actually transpire.
Life is not a series of defining moments. Life is not the day we receive that job offer or get that ring on our finger. Life is every single minute, filled with so much potential that it should make us cry. Every minute of our lives is begging for us to grab it, to make it remarkable.
Life is like Candy Land; if only we had learned to play it the right way. Looking back on it, I realize how much my friends and I stayed fixated on the end and the feeling we would gain from getting to place our little yellow plastic boy/girl on the finish line. But we grumbled and growled when we picked a red card or a purple card. We cringed at the thought of the journey or, God forbid, drawing a card that would send us back to Mr. Mint or Gramma Nutt. We wanted the acceleration; the double blue or the card that allowed us to skip right over to Princess Frostine, just mere spaces away from the castle.
But if we go too fast, if we careen our way towards the end point, deeming our lives only worthwhile when we have these “defining moments” then what is really the point? Why even set up the game? Why decide to go to work or go to the gym? We might as well sit in bed all day and wait for the good stuff, the events and happenings that ensure we are truly living, to come knocking at our door.
I think we need to start living with more intention, we need to realize that we have 1,440 minutes in a single day. That is a lot of precious minutes. Let’s not get meticulous by focusing on the minutes we spend sleeping (those are already filled with our biggest dreams), but 960 minutes is still a baffling number. And those “moments” that will “change our lives” probably only last a good 30 seconds. It’s that unexpected stranger, that realization that life is incredible, it’s that library card. But it is up to us to fill the space. To give each minute it’s time to shine. To Bundle Up All The Minutes In Our Day. Hold Them Outward In Our Palms. Acknowledge Them As “Irreplaceable.”
We say and hear it all the time: life is too short, life goes to quick, life is what happens while we are busy making plans. But are we really listening? As cliche as it is, the message is true. But perhaps it becomes more real when we recognize that life does not begin in two hours or when the weekend hits. Life happens before and after we get that library card, with or without a shortcut in Candy Land.
It’s up to us to wear out every instance, every encounter, and every minute like a lucky penny.
How will you make the most out of your 960 minutes today?