You only get one life. This is the reason you should live life to the fullest of your ability at any given time. I figured this philosophy out when I first met my new neighbors about five years ago.
My eldest neighbor is named Edna like in the incredible’s. She is elderly and she has lived her life to the max. Every time I saw her when I first met them I was mad because they had replaced my only friends I had who were close to my own age who lived close to me. They were the air I breathed then.
I was a pretty disrespectful person when they came around. I was still under the impression that all teachers hated me and all adults were mean. But when my neighbors came around I had no choice but to be nice and naturally I was interested in who they were.
I gradually began to get to know them better and started to see Edna at mass. We would always talk to her after mass and she would have the best stories and whatever it was we would always laugh. She was a person whose body had aged but her mind was still springy.
I saw this and realized that I was not living in a world of adults vs. kids and there was more to life than just trying to be better than the adults. I could work with them and expand my horizons greatly by asking questions and not trying to go it alone.
When this revelation hit me my grades began to climb a giant cliff and I was more relaxed all the time and I started to become less of a stuck up eleven year old. I began to become more of the person I strive to be today.
With relaxing came being more outgoing and determined and living life to my full potential. I went out for track and I was getting along better with my teachers. With that I started to go volunteer for my neighbor because she is elderly. We will be talking like a radio and working like mules while we were talking. She will tell stories about when she was as young as I am and her adventures in New Jersey.
What this al adds up to is you can’t live your life as a road with obstacles at every turn that you have to overcome. You need to view it as a field that you can run in. open and unpredictable. Stubbing your toe on a rock is all part of the journey.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.