Quick question - what's the deal with "last time's" You know, your last shift with your favorite co-worker, your last family-dinner before you move out, your last beach trip before school starts...
I've been thinking a lot about why we sort of obsess over our last time doing something, and at first, perhaps superficially, I looked at it as a) a way of dealing with our emotions and b) a (kind of silly) reason to put more effort into this last time (i.e. a fancy dinner, a class pizza party, an overnight beach trip, etc.). But as I let my mind roll around with those a little, I realized how presumptuous they are and that, while they may be applicable in some cases, I'm forgetting the last piece to the puzzle...
Our last time doing something is significant because, well, we won't get to do it ever again (usually). I sunk a little deeper into my seat when this thought popped into my head. Maggie (my dog) and I had just taken a little trip to PetSmart for some food and I looked over at her, perched up and comfy in the passenger seat next to me. Do dogs think about "last time's"? More importantly, is this my last car ride with my fluffy white pup? No, stop, Haley. Stop.
Last time's are a big deal because they're the end of something routine, comforting, habitual, special, etc., and whatever comes after we reach that end is sometimes unknown; it could be change, and I'll be the first to admit that change is scary. It could also be loss - loss of a family member, loss of a friendship, loss of a job.
So, they're like a street sign - "DETOUR AHEAD" or "ROAD CLOSED" or "SHARP TURNS AHEAD". Am I the only one who's palms get a little sweaty at the sight of those? I hope not. Adjusting to change is uncomfortable, and losing anyone/thing is devastating. In the soothing, angelic words of Adam Levine, "Nothing lasts forever but be honest babe, it hurts but it may be the only way..."
Okay, so I just go through life knowing that everything will end and I just shouldn't make deep connections with anyone/thing because it'll be gone before I know it? No. That mindset blocks the opportunity for growth, experience, and even happiness. Maybe I'm just the last one to jump on the "Make the Best of Every Moment" train, and maybe Dr. Seuss's words, "Don't cry because it's over; smile because it happened", finally sank in and found their place in my book.
We could spend all day pointing out and sighing over our last time doing this and our last time going here and our last time with this person and so on, but what room would that leave for celebration of our accomplishments? For anticipation and hopes for the future? For truly, wholly just living in the gosh-darn moment.
I don't really know how else to end this other than by promising myself not to live as though each moment is my last, because I'd be running around balling hysterically taking pictures with friends and family, tasting food from every restaurant I never made time to visit, and trying to sky-dive at the same time. It'd be pure madness. Instead, I want to promise myself to find the "happy" in as many moments as possible each day, express gratitude for those, and let them fuel my values and morals for the rest of my life.
Thank you for reading along as I sort through my own thoughts - means the world to me :)
Keep coming back 'cause I'm allllllllways thinking about something!