This morning, we threw away a carton full of raspberries. They were big and juicy and red and just the right amount of tart (a week ago). I was saving them for something special. I never did discover what the special thing was, and while I was working hard to save them–seeing them taunting me on the refrigerator shelf every morning–they grew moldy. All my difficult work, saving them up for something special instead of enjoying them NOW, ended up to be for naught. My effort to enjoy them later ended up meaning that I never got to enjoy them–though I’m sure the mold spores enjoyed the berries very much.
Reflecting on moments and phases of life when I’ve been more generous with my time and energy, I know that those are the times I’ve been most happy. Then, more often than my generous moments, I get grabby with my time. I want to protect my moments and hours, to save them up for something. But why am I saving this precious time? Where is it all going? It goes into watching netflix and lolling around the house, into using up the energy on my wandering, worrying mind–which is not fun at all.
It’s like on high school track team, when our coach, Mr. Barney, told us to leave it all on the track at the end of a race. Why else had we trained our muscles for weeks and eaten carefully for days and stored up our energy that morning? I remember always being afraid that I would leave too much on the track–that my strength would give out before the end and I would just fall over, or that I’d just stop, or… whatever it is that happens when you really get to the end of your physical rope (can you tell I never really quite got there?). Because of course a 16-year-old who’s in decent shape should be worried about falling over after running half a mile (see “worrying mind” above).
Let’s worry less and leave more of ourselves in the moments of our lives.