What if yesterday was my last bike ride? What if?
Clearly that would suck.
“Daddy come outside and play mini-baseball with us”…
It’s so easy to say no, to say I’m tired when I’d really just rather watch the game on the tube. It’s the same variation on that theme. I lived both sides of that coin in the last few days. Friday I chose the couch. Saturday evening I was a mini-baseball playin’ fool. What if that day I spent on the couch was my last day to play ball with my little girls?
Almost twenty years ago now I met a guy who told me he was struggling with finding happiness, sober. I suggested, simply, “Hey, maybe you’re not doing it right” and left it at that forgetting that short conversation before I got home that night.
I didn’t see him again until last year. Imagine my surprise when I went up to say hello and he said that interaction, almost twenty years ago, changed his outlook on life. It took a while before he figured out what it all meant and he’d contemplated trying to kick my ass when I suggested it, but it turned out I had a small but important point. Then he thanked me.
The truth is, as has been said since humans could speak, tomorrow is promised to no one.
I had a great time playing whiffle ball with my girls and that ride on Saturday was with my wife, so that was great too. I’d never suggest anyone live their life like there’s no tomorrow because I think that would be silly. Who would go to work if there were no tomorrow? Not me.
Instead, I like to remember that I have to show up and do my best to get the best out of my short time here. It’s rare I get to know that I can make a difference – but no matter what, I can’t if I’m on the couch watching the game. That isn’t to say that I should never watch a baseball or hockey game again, but making a difference, even if it’s a small one, far outweighs the couch… The only problem with that is, you never know what you’re missing out on.
If yesterday was my last bike ride, it was a good one. If yesterday was the last time I get to show my wife, on Mothers Day, how much I love and appreciate her, I did a good job of it. If God was to pull my number I’d have some things to answer for, there is no doubt… But I did the best I could with what I had all weekend long and I’m keeping that streak going today. Today I want to be successful at staying off the couch rather than trying to find ways to get out of living so I can stay there. I’m only 27 years away from my 70th birthday. Add another two years to that and that’s how old my dad was when he took his last breath. Even though I plan on living well beyond my 70th, I’ve got a lot I want to experience before that. While I’ll always love baseball, hockey and my down-time on the couch, when I really think about it that’s the last place I want to be until it’s too dark to play.
Yes, I committed the newbiest of all noob errors yesterday. Three hours in the sun, second time in six months outdoors in just shorts and a jersey…and no sunscreen. It’ll be a tan by tomorrow but still, I know better. Plain old stupid. I didn’t even think about sunscreen until I got back and took a mildly warm shower… Um, ouch.
Oh well, live and learn: