There’s a song by Kenny Chesney called “Don’t Blink” that has an interesting message to it. It’s about a guy watching the news where a man that just turned 102 is being interviewed. The reporter asks the man for advice on how to reach 100 years and the man essentially tells the reporter to enjoy life because “100 years goes by faster than you think. So don’t blink.”
The message from the song is so true. You’re a kid and then before you know it, you’re a young adult getting married. And then all of sudden you’ve got children, and then grandchildren and then you and your spouse have reached the 50 year mark.
One of the things about life is that we often don’t figure things out until we’re older. We look back and wish we had the knowledge we’ve acquired in our later years available to us in our younger years. As youngsters (and even our 20’s and 30’s), we think we know everything so we rarely utilize the best source for learning life’s most important lessons – older folks.
A lesson I’ve recently learned is that life isn’t always about accomplishments. Accomplishments are great and worth pursuing, but life is more about making memories and experiencing what the world has to offer.
I’ve had the fortunate opportunity to reconnect with a number of people within the last year that I haven’t seen in over a decade. And I can tell you that while the first things that come up are what’s happened in the last five, ten or even twenty years, the stuff that we talk about into the wee hours of the night are the memories – the good (and sometimes not-so-good) times we’ve had. While it’s nice to be able to show people from your past how much of a success you’ve become, your memories are the bonds that keep your relationships together.
As I look back at my life, I’m a much different person that I was seven years ago when I had my first battle with unemployment. So as you can imagine, I’m different from the person I was in college and in high school and in the fourth grade before I moved from one town to another. My friends from all these stages in life have also changed. But we still enjoy each other’s company and have laughs over the things we did back in those “crazy” days and at the same time, we’re making new memories. No one cares what I do for a living, and I don’t care what they do.
So while it’s tempting to go full throttle trying to be the hot shot salesperson, youngest vice president in your company or just trying to make a name for yourself in your field, don’t forget to sit back and enjoy life every now and then. The world is full of wonderful people and places. There breathtaking views to see, exotic foods to sample, roses to smell and history to touch. There are fascinating people to meet and it’s amazing how reconnecting with old friends can have a fountain of youth-like effect on you.
If you are fortunate enough to have a spouse or significant other, truly love that person and make beautiful memories with him or her. If you have children, spend time with them – they really do grow up faster than you can imagine. Spend time together as a couple or a family. Love each other. Laugh often and enjoy life. And most importantly, make memories.
But whatever you do, don’t blink – life goes by way too fast to not make the most of it. Here’s a video to remind you: