Has anyone ever really done that?
When I look at the shambles that is my life, I am amazed.
I always thought when you tried to do everything right, played by the rules, sacrificed, worked hard and loved that you would live “happily ever after.”
To quote Nick Cage in Moonstruck “We are here to ruin ourselves and to break our hearts and love the wrong people and die! The storybooks are bullshit!”
The biggest disappointment I have ever found in life was the fact that you can’t change other people. You can’t make someone love you if they don’t, no matter how hard you try to make it work. It shouldn’t be this way, but then a lot of things shouldn’t be that way.
I guess that’s why I like “The Station.” Here is a reprint if you are not familiar with it.
by Robert J. Hastings
Tucked away in our subconscious is an idyllic vision. We see ourselves on a long trip that spans the continent. We are traveling by train. Out the windows we drink in the passing scene of cars on nearby highways, of children waving at a crossing, of cattle grazing on a distant hillside, of smoke pouring from a power plant, of row upon row of corn and wheat, of flatlands and valleys, of mountains and rolling hillsides, of city skylines and village halls.
But uppermost in our minds is the final destination. On a certain day at a certain hour we will pull into the station. Bands will be playing and flags waving. Once we get there so many wonderful dreams will come true and the pieces of our lives will fit together like a completed jigsaw puzzle. How restlessly we pace the aisles, damning the minutes for loitering – waiting, waiting, waiting for the station.
“When we reach the station, that will be it!” we cry. “When I’m 18.” “When I buy a new 450SL Mercedes-Benz!” “When I put the last kid through college.” “When I have paid off the mortgage!” “When I get a promotion.” “When I reach the age of retirement, I shall live happily ever after!”
Sooner or later we must realize there is no station, no one place to arrive at once and for all. The true joy of life is the trip. The station is only a dream. It constantly outdistances us.
“Relish the moment” is a good motto, especially when coupled with Psalm 118:24: “This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.” It isn’t the burdens of today that drive men mad. It is the regrets over yesterday and the fear of tomorrow. Regret and fear are twin thieves who rob us of today.
So, stop pacing the aisles and counting the miles. Instead, climb more mountains, eat more ice cream, go barefoot more often, swim more rivers, watch more sunsets, laugh more, cry less. Life must be lived as we go along. The station will come soon enough.
And all of us will be getting off then so I did as the gentleman suggested and I ate more ice cream tonight. I know I can’t live forever and as someone who painstakingly always ate right and worked out the first half century of my life, I hope my body can withstand the extra fat and sugar. If not, I’ll find out soon enough.
I’m eating ice cream for two now. Me and my broken dreams!