Before vs After

An interesting post from MetroDad sparks off a series of thoughts.  In it, MD quotes a passage from one of the books presently helping him with his insomnia… 

“I have a thing for Dickens. I’m reading his letters at the moment. There are 12 volumes of them, and each one is several hundred pages long. If he’d only written letters, he’d have had a pretty productive life, but he didn’t only write letters. There are four volumes of his journalism. He edited a couple of magazines. He squeezed in an unconventional love life, and a few rewarding friendships. Am I forgetting anything? Oh, yeah: a dozen of the greatest novels in the English language. He’s pretty much the one guy whose life you could look at and think, man, he didn’t mess around.

But there aren’t many people like old Charles. Most humans don’t get to do work that’s going to last. They sell shower curtain rings, like the John Candy character in that movie. (I mean the rings might last. But they’re probably not what people talk about after you’ve gone.) So it’s not about what you do. It can’t be, can it? It has to be about how you are, how you love, how you treat yourself and those around you, and that’s where I get eaten up.”

He goes on to write about how a certain amount of introspection and fantasizing can actually be a good thing…

All I’m saying is that, regardless of one’s station in life, I think it’s healthy to sometimes visualize or fantasize about the life that you want to live. Frequently, this forces you to make extremely tough decisions that seem painful but may ultimately make you much happier.

And then, ends by asking some pretty tough questions…

In all seriousness, do any other parents out there fantasize about how your life would be different without kids or a spouse? If you’re single or childless, are you living your life how you’d imagined? Why or why not?

Sure, we all have fantasies about living a different Life… whether or not we have kids!  So often, we hear well-meaning grown-ups advise younger friends on how they should make the most of the time they have, especially while they are still young, single or childless.  But MD’s questions made me think long and hard about this.

As parents of two adorable little ones, me and the mrs. often talk about our love for Travel, and how we need to make the time for it.  In fact, we have just started a new saving fund for our shared passion, now that the kids have reached a more manageable age. 

The more I think about it, the more I’m convinced that it’s not a matter of cramming every thing in your life, while you’re still young, single and childless.  For one, that phase won’t last the rest of your life.  Besides, your life-circumstances can change quite rapidly, irrespective of how much you planned to achieve in your younger years.

Every day matters.  And it’s up to every one of us to make the most of each moment! 

And, if that doesn’t work, there’s always the Batman costume or the Porsche, right?!

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