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Saturday, October 6, 2007

Measuring by Miles or Time?

As I drove my son to visit with his dad and his dad’s family, I thought about how I measure my travel by time, not miles. Many times I have had people ask me how far one place is from another, and I have answered by a measure of travel time, rather than miles or distance.
Photo by Chance Agrella

In traveling, mileage is irrelevant and meaningless to me. I have a packed schedule, so I have to measure many things by the time I will need in order to accomplish them.

I remembered a favorite movie line of mine. It is the now infamous Raiders of the Lost Ark line uttered, impromptu by Harrison Ford, “It’s not the years, honey, it’s the mileage.”

I turned 40 in August and while age has never really bothered me, I admit to a mini-meltdown of several hours as I reached the big 4-0.

I looked back upon my life and reflected upon how it was not at all what I had planned. At 40, I was not living the life I had planned for myself at younger ages, and I was not living the life I had planned for myself as late as January of this year, just prior to my engagement ending.

As I considered all of these things, I realized in the case of my life, as with travel, I was looking at time and not mileage. I realized the flaw in my thinking, almost immediately.

John Lennon stated that ‘life is what happens [*to you] while you are busy making other plans’, and that is very much a true concept. Regardless of what we want and plan, life seldom cooperates with even the best laid plans. Tragedies and miracles, disappointments and surprises, surround us upon every breath and every step we take.

When I reflect upon my 40 years in mortality, I see that while I may not have accomplished everything I wanted to by this point, I have, in many ways, accomplished things I never dared to dream of even attempting. . .and I have overcome many unexpected and heart-wrenching trials.

In the case of mortality, perhaps the better measure is one of mileage rather than time.

*Mr Lennon has been attributed with saying that quote with and without the ‘to you’ part in it. Just as many sources quoted it with the ‘to you’ as without it. Both were equally represented by reliable sources. I was unable at the time of this posting to verify which version was the original and correct one. If I can verify the correct quote I will note it in this post.

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