“You’re alive only once, as far as we know, and what could be worse than getting to the end of your life and realizing you hadn’t lived it?” — Edward Albee
“To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven” — Ecclesiastes 3:1-8
Sometimes we find ourselves stressed out and distracted when we’re pushing through activity for which the season is wrong. Sometimes this is out of our control, and often it’s just us doing more than we ought to be doing in the moment. It would be helpful to remind ourselves that everything has its time. Even when we don’t want to hear it.
The idea of distinct time buckets isn’t new, it’s just another way of describing seasons of our lives. They were talking about this thousands of years ago too. We live in a world where we want it all now, and surely technology enables us to achieve far more than we might have in the past. But there’s still truth in the words.
So how do we reconcile the urgency in Albee’s words with the reality of not being able to do everything at once? Find the season for the activities that matter, and forget the things we’ll never get to. Easier said than done, perhaps, but the only way to savor the season we’re in.
We must be present in this place and season in which we find ourselves, do the work to make the most of this time, and position ourselves for the brightest possible future. We can’t take it with us, but we can plan for the best time to dance with life. The saddest people on earth are those who realize that they didn’t seize the moment in a season that has passed them by. We must prioritize for regret minimization as much as future security. Embrace moments with the people, places and purpose that align best with the season we’re in, and position ourselves to optimize experiences in their best season in our life to come.