Life is What Happens to You While Your Busy Making Other Plans
John Lennon’s song Beautiful Boy claims that “life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.” The past year was my first year of college, and as I read that quote I realized that I had been so busy making plans for what I was going to do next that I had forgotten that my life wasn’t going to begin when I graduated; rather, I had been living my life throughout that year. I believe that everyone finds himself or herself waiting in the “real life” waiting line at some point in their lives, and my turn to wait just happened to have been for the past year.
Before entering college, my life was, quite simply, made up of school, friends and family. I wasn’t worried about my life long career plans or how I was going to make ends meet when I became financially independent from my parents. In college, there were millions of adult responsibilities, constantly buzzing around my head. Sticky notes were no longer colorful pieces of paper to doodle on, the colorful paper now held the basic outline of my life. I became consumed with making “to do” lists. I no longer enjoyed the little things that made me happy. Instead, I woke up at seven every morning, turned out papers like a machine, consumed food to keep me going, and went to bed at midnight every evening.
My days were filled with the unexpected, the monotonous, the exciting, and the boring. I never took a moment to stand back and appreciate the life behind all the days. I had simply forgotten that I wasn’t merely accomplishing my daily tasks in order to start my life; instead I had already started my life and was living it throughout everyday. It had become so easy to get wrapped up in making plans for my future life, that I now realize I just need to take a step back from everything and take a deep breath. My first year of college may have seemed like a transitional stage or a “real life” waiting line, but I needed to stop my planning in order to realize that I had been living my life throughout that year.
Everything I experience makes up my life. To forget that means forgetting what it means to live. I believe making plans for the future while forgetting to live in the present leads to a life not worthy of being lived.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.