By common definition a “conundrum” is a confusing and/or difficult problem or question. Not so much like being between a rock and a hard place but more like an unsettled feeling that hangs around far to long after the party is over and everyone else has left the building.
Conundrum is a word that I like to use when faced with conflicting opinions or points of view. It seems to have a nice ring to it and I like the fact that most people are really not sure of what it truly means. Most of the time, up to this point, I haven’t either.
It is much to easy to say that life is full of conundrum without being more specific as to what that statement means.
For this post, I will pose one significant illustration from my life in the hope that you and I will better understand the world that we live in as we travel the path from birth unto our final resting place.
For many years I have gathered art supplies in the hope that I will “one day” have the time and the inclination to further my lifelong interest in this particular aspect of the creative life. I have worked at an art supply company for almost 20 years and we have had many employee sales during this time that have allowed me to purchase slightly dinged or used supplies at minimal or no cost. Over the years, when the basement begins to look a little cramped for space because of all this “collecting” of good deals, my wife will suggest that we divest ourselves of some of these rescued supplies. And every time she does so I let go of a little more.
At first I argued that these supplies were just waiting for me to get around to using them. But as time passed it became more and more apparent that the days of me creating “art” were never really going to materialize as I had envisioned it. Kind of like retirement—it is nice to think about but the reality is that most of us will never reach that state of peaceful, daily nirvana that we seemingly were promised back in grade school in the sixties.
Not that we won’t have some moments of rest and relaxation after our work a day world comes to an end. But what I have come to realize in this conundrum filled life is the very real fact that those future days are mostly a mirage—they seem real at what is now a distance but the closer we get the more dream-like they appear. I am only now beginning to see through the haze of my own special deception.
And it is not like we won’t ever get to where we think we are going. But the reality is that we only have today and this evening to begin to accomplish what we would like to experience in this life. If we are always waiting for the moment to come when we will have the time to live out our dream of learning to paint or play that autoharp that we bought years ago, we are living in a lie of sorts. What I mean is this—we may be blessed with many meaningful years of retirement—but to wait until that time to begin a project is like living in a fools paradise.
Today really is the beginning of the rest of our lives.
My goal today is to begin living in the moment so that when I reach that distant shore, I will have done what I have needed to do so that I have no regrets as to how I have spent my time here on earth. This change will not happen overnight—nor do I think I won’t stumble and fall in my quest to fully embrace what time I have. But just beginning to understand the process is really the essence of “looking for the long ride”.
Enjoy yours today, while it is still called today.