A few weekends ago I went to visit a friend who just had her first baby. He is a month old, cute as a button, with that new baby smell that someone needs to bottle and sell. She’s doing well, settling into new motherhood with a grace and good humor that I can’t help but admire.
As I held him, looking down at his baby face, I thought, “You have your whole life ahead of you!” and I wondered what kind of life that would be. Will you be a doctor, or a CEO, a hedge fund manager or a clergyman. Will you be lucky in love and have children of your own to cherish some day. It was a moment just brimming with possibility.
It then dawned on me that I am most likely half way through my life. I braced myself to feel the sadness and disappointment of realizing how much less time I have on this Earth. But to my surprise it didn’t surface. I realized I am happy with the life I have led so far. While it certianly hasn’t been perfect, and I spent time in places I never would have chosen or dreamed of, on the whole, I am happy with the person I am and the dignity with which I’ve acted.
I also felt a deep optimism about the possiblities left in my life. While I may not have all the time my new young friend had, I have experience and wealth of knowledge that he has yet to acquire. There’s no time limit on possiblities. Your life is what you make it. Each day is brand new, each decision you have yet to make can take your life in a new direction. It just takes courage and one step forward.
I like to think that I am brand new each day. I may be going to the same job, and coming home to the same apartment, cooking the same dinners, but I have not experienced exactly that moment each time.
Tomorrow, try to see each situation you incur with new eyes. As if you were seeing them for the first time. You might learn something new about others, you will definitely learn something new about yourself.