“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your head and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.– Steve Jobs
I was born at a time when southern men thought it was a good think to keep women barefoot and pregnant. I lived that way for a while, mostly because I didn’t know anything different.
And then I sat in front of a television with my children and watched Neil Armstrong set foot on the moon and utter the words that have continued to live in my little gray cells: “That’s one step for man, one giant leap for mankind.”
The words were spoken at a time when forward leaps in my own thoughts and actions were exploding. I had become a working mother in a field – journalism – that exposed me to a larger world than I knew had existed.
I became knowledgeable about Vietnam, body bags, equal rights for women, and equal rights and integration for Blacks. I learned that that life was not fair, which was as devastating to me as learning there was no Santa Claus when I was 10.
I struggled, as all caring parents do, to raise my children to be honest, hard-working, contributing members of society. I watched as the Cold War ended and the Berlin Wall came down, and as terrorists, including the ones who lived next door, eroded our sense of security.
Life became easier for me at last, even as I watched it become more difficult for my children and grandchildren. Opportunities and apple pie are harder to come by these days. I stuck in the backdoor of a newspaper without the proper education that even I required when I moved up to being the one who hired reporters.
And then along comes the Internet, which truly has changed everything. I can’t imagine living without it, yet I grieve for all that it has taken away.
Finally, I come to today when I have to accept that there are fewer days ahead of me than behind me. I especially felt it on my cross-country journey this past fall. This will probably be the last time I visit Rocky Mountain National Park, I thought, as I drove Trail Ridge Road through the awesome mountains; probably the last time I’ll ever drive the Blue Ridge Parkway. It was the same for each of the many sights I experienced on the journey.
Realizing how fast the clock is ticking away has made me look harder at everything, to breathe in each spectacular landscape more deeply, and truly, perhaps for the first time in my life, live in the moment. That’s not a bad thing. Actually it has been rather exhilarating, and certainly has made me more thoughtful.
I got to thinking about precious moments this morning after listening to the Rolling Stones belt out “This Could Be the Last Time.” The musical number was a YouTube video posted on my blog pick of the day. Perhaps you would like to listen, too.
Bean’s Pat: Flickr Comments http://tinyurl.com/brllod2 Maybe the Last Time – but hopefully not.