Thursday, August 2, 2012

Forever is a Seven Letter Word


Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.
-Mahatma Gandhi


At a business dinner last night, the conversation came around to marriage proposals. Someone made the observation that although they were very happily married for 22 years, when they said yes, they could not have conceived of being married for that long. Obviously, no one in their right mind says I do, for now, right? But how do you grasp decades?
I wrote a blog post Five Short Years talking about the inspirational value of imagining what is possible to achieve in that period of time. Why is thinking in terms of a 5-year plan motivational to me but thinking about a 20-year vision feels crippling?
I love where we live. But when my husband insists that we will be in our house until our kids go off to college, I feel trapped, stuck, bordering on miserable. When “what if” conversations come up about really big life decisions, I just can’t wrap my head around “rest of your life” consequences. For me, embracing the now and leaving my options open for the future works. They say, opposites attract. My husband is a certified financial planner who helps other people prepare for the rest of their lives everyday. Is his way better or mine?
Is it okay to be a short term enthusiast?

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