Ever wonder why we measure success by the length of time we’re engaged in something? Longevity is the key. It’s a badge of honor, admirable, what makes life worth living. We want to have a feeling of accomplishment to reflect on as we age, don’t we? Why is it better to be alive 100 years than 60 if the last 40 were lived in poor health, alone, in poverty, or without sound mind as is the fate in whole or part of so many of our elderly? Longevity is not an advantage in this situation.
People applaud when a couple says they’ve been married 50 years. Well, if it was a happy union like mine and others like Ronald and Nancy Reagan’s, then that’s great. If it’s a marriage where you’ve suffered through a relationship that rivals an episode of Jerry Springer or Maury Popovich then maybe it wasn’t such a good thing. Working at a company for 30 or 40 years until you can finally retire gets kudos all around. Let’s go to lunch and later have cake! Don’t forget to take pictures. Does it matter that you disliked your job and every day was a struggle just to roll out of bed? I mean, what the heck happened there? Today, your retirement day, there’s nothing but hugs, and smiles, and tears, and congratulations. You bet, there needs to be congratulations for the fact they no longer have to hit the snooze in the morning.
Just waiting something out until it’s overrun its course and in many ways has become a burden is not necessarily applaudable. Hang in there. Be patient. Stay the course. All commonly repeated platitudes. If things are going well and you’re happy in where you are and what you’re doing, how wonderful. If that is not your situation, it can be a life sentence of unrest, dread, and sadness. If you are living a life that’s just marking time, search for ways to improve your situation whatever that may be for you. I would never suggest breaking ties, getting a divorce, quitting your job, or whatever your truth may be; although I wouldn’t rule that out if departure would be the best for you in the long run; and long runs are what we’re discussing here. I do suggest you kick-start your brain into looking at things in a different way, bringing challenge, light, love, humor, and peace into your situation. Flip that switch, transcend your unhappiness. Don’t measure your life by length. Measure it by quality. Quality of life, now there’s a platitude I can get behind… Sandy