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Archive for January 21st, 2014

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Did you know that there are only three more days until the weekend (that’s only two more sleeps)? seven more weeks until Spring Break? two more months until the first day of spring? five more months until the first day of summer (and summer break to follow just days later)?

I am rather famous in my circles for knowing such facts 😉

I love to look ahead. To anticipate the desired, the hopeful, the change. For me, these countdowns are a bit of a survival tactic for living in the Pacific Northwest, where the seasons are locally (okay, not locally, but personally) known as monsoon season, followed by three months of beautiful, perfect summer (aka. July, August and September).

Every once in a while, I am reminded of a tale of a young, impatient boy whose desire to skip ahead in life had dire consequences.

The tale is told of a bright, but daydreamer of a young boy (my guess is he may have been able to be diagnosed as having ADD). One day he meets an old woman and he tells her of his boredom, and how he wished he could hurry up and grow up, and do the things that he just knew would make him successful and happy.

The old woman gives him a ball with a golden cord. She says that whenever he would like to skip to the next stage of life, he just needed to tug on the cord, and time would pass in an instant (sounds pretty good on a Monday morning).

The boy tugged on it and he was magically dating the pretty girl in school.

Then he tugged again, so that they were both old enough for him to propose to her.

As the time of engagement became stressful, he tugged again, and they were married.

Then they were expecting a baby, but the waiting was so long, so he tugged again, and the baby was born.

The baby was delightful, but whenever she was sick or cried late into the night, he would tug again.

Despite the face that he kept promising that he would use more restraint next time, he used it through every big and small difficulty, stress or whenever tugging on the string made his immediate life easier. This continued through every stage of his life, until the now middle-aged man realized that his mother had died, his children all moved out and away, and his beloved wife very sick.

He felt great regret for how his regular tugs caused his life to fast forward.

Then, one day, he met up with the old woman who had given the ball with the golden cord to him. He told her that he wished she could have given him a ball with a cord that went both ways … future and past.

She then gave him the choice to either stay where he was, alone for the rest of his life, or to have the opportunity to go back to the young man he was, and live his life without the magical cord.

He chose to go back, and live …

live through the tough stuff

live through the hardships

live through the times of impatience

… and have many memories at the end of his natural life.

And that is what he chose … to live.

And so, though I will probably keep making my countdowns (like, eleven months, and four days until Christmas), I will not forget to take joy in the privilege of each new day.

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