I’ve been teaching music for about 15 years now. I enjoy keeping up to date with the lives of my student’s and will routinely ask them about their week, family, friends, activities, etc. Commonly, when asked about school, the Monday kids will respond, “school sucks, it’s so boring, I wish it was Friday already!” I can’t help but chuckle to myself when they say these things; I remember thinking those exact sentiments when I was their age. In a very positive and diplomatic manner, I like to share the following advice with them:
Life is like one of those moving walkways at the airport; stepping on symbolizes birth and stepping off represents death. No matter what you do while riding, it continues to move forward, just like time. Walking faster and running will only bring you to the end sooner. Walking backwards essentially keeps you in the same spot. This is much like life: living at an accelerated pace, always in a hurry, racing from one obligation to the next, seems to expedite our living experience. And when we resist forward movement out of discomfort or fear, it’s not surprising that we remain stationary.
Impatience is a byproduct of our fast paced world; if it’s not quick and effortless we become frustrated. My Mom always used to tell me, “don’t wish your life away.” I remember being in school and desperately longing for the weekends, holiday breaks, summer vacation, graduation, getting my driver’s license, etc. Always looking ahead, I wished the future would arrive sooner to experience the awaited pleasures. This is a foolish approach because one loses so much precious time looking forward and doesn’t fully appreciate the present.
The time we wish away can never be reclaimed. It is most likely the very time we’ll desperately want back at the end of our lives. Like my students, it’s easy to fixate on where we’re headed while neglecting to enjoy the steps leading us there. Thus, when anticipating Friday’s arrival from Monday’s perspective, it’s crucial to remember that we also have to enjoy Tuesday through Thursday.