Tuesday, January 11, 2005

A Metaphor for Life

With Kristin being gone down in Central America, I've had a few days without her around to reflect upon the time we spent together before she left. In the preceding weeks before she had to step onto that plane bound for Granada, we had planned to do so much. We were going to beat X-Men Legends. We were going to watch the extended version of The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King. We were going to get out on the 4 wheeler in the snow. We were going to watch all of the episodes of Smallville that we hadn't seen yet. We were going to bake cookies. We were going to do a lot of things.

In the time that we had together we managed to bake cookies and watch Smallville and get pretty close to the end of X-Men Legends, but a lot of other things didn't happen. We never had 4+ hours in a row to dedicate to Return of the King. Some of the days weren't that hospitable out so we skipped riding the 4 wheeler in hopes that it would get nicer out. Other little things that we wanted to do, we also didn't get done.

As it came time to drive Kristin to the airport, I started thinking about what we had planned to do and what we actually got around to doing. Too many other activities, chores, and tasks interrupted our well laid out plans. She had to pack up for her trip. I had to help with chores. My brother had people over when we had things planned. Other things got in the way. Sure, we got to do some of what we wanted, but we didn't get to do it all and I felt sad that we didn't get to do everything we had planned.

The comforting thought that offset some of the sadness was that she'd be back in four months and we could get around to doing everything we'd missed out on doing before she left. Our plans were merely put on a four month hiatus and we could resume them at a later date.

In many ways, those couple of weeks before Kristin left mirrored what it is to be a mortal human being. We all have so many plans. I want to go back to grad school. I want to publish some of my ideas for comic books. I want to read so many books. I want to do so many things, but no doubt the realities of life will get in the way. I have to go to work. I might not have enough time to dedicate to scripting some of my ideas. I might not have enough money to go back to school. Life will get in the way of my plans.

Time will go on, much like it did when I was with Kristin, and before I know it I'll be on my deathbed, or Kristin will be walking through the gate at the airport. The difference between having Kristin fly away and death is that Kristin will be coming back. Once I pass on, my plans aren't put on hiatus--they're simply left to flutter away into the abyss of good plans that were never executed.

We all seem to have so many plans, but realistically will we get to all of them? I highly doubt it, and that's a scary thought. Complementing that thought, though, is the notion that we will complete some of our plans and we should take joy from what we do accomplish. I've also found that I need to prioritize what I want to do. Just having a ton of plans and hoping that some of them happen isn't productive, but prioritizing what you want to accomplish and focusing on those goals can help you to reach many of your lesser goals that you might not have reached.

Kristin and I put spending time together, in any fashion, as our #1 priority. I wasn't seeing that clearly when I was thinking about all of what we didn't get to do. I was too caught up in being unhappy about what we missed out on that it was clouding the fact that we did exactly what we wanted to do and because of that, I could leave her at the airport (and her board her plane) with a notion of happiness permeating through all of the sadness of her leaving. I pray that in the hours before my death I can also feel that same mix of sadness that comes with leaving mixed with a happiness that I did what was important to me.

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