Friday, May 29, 2009

Life is Too Short

After returning from lunch yesterday, I stopped at our office coffee machine for an afternoon cup-o-joe. A quick assessment of the coffee pot revealed a burnt, acidic aroma. The coffee had clearly been sitting there untouched for well over an hour.

Fortunately I had an epiphany a couple of weeks ago which prepared me for burnt office coffee. Life is too short for bad coffee. I retrieved the french press and bag of premium grounds from my office and proceeded to brew a bold, delicious cup of coffee.

My wife recently shared a conversation she had with another student teacher who had refused a job offer in Hawaii. I marveled that someone would turn down such an offer, but it was not until this morning that I finally put several pieces of information together.

Today is a Friday, but I decided to take the morning off from work. At approximately 7 A.M. I woke up; at approximately 8 A.M. I gave up on trying to sleep any longer. After playing briefly with our puppy, I enjoyed a three mile jog and a hot shower. By nine twenty I was sipping a latte and waiting outside the post office for it to open.

This turned out to be a minor, short lived irritant. Why could the post office not keep hours compatible with working folks? For a moment I contemplated lodging a complaint when they finally opened. The next moment, I had another powerful realization.

life is too short. Too short for bad coffee, and too short for petty grudges. It is too short for enduring unhappiness in ourselves or others, and it is too short for unrequited love. Life is too short not to take job offers in exotic locations, and it is too short not to enjoy. Life is too short to be right every time, and it is too short for regretting things that we have never done.

If we pursue happiness as a destination, we will almost surely fail to find it. If, however, we accept that happiness occurs unexpectedly as we experience new things perhaps we can enjoy more fleeting moments of happiness and fewer fleeting moments of irritation with stodgy institutions that open counterproductively late.

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