John was right: life gets in the way

Central Otago Mirror - - CONVERSATIONS -

When I was at high school there was an an­nual speech com­pe­ti­tion. One year some­one gave a speech about John Len­non. It was many years af­ter his as­sas­si­na­tion and I’m not sure why she chose Len­non as a sub­ject, but I re­mem­ber that the speech in­cluded a well-known quote of his.

It was about how life hap­pens while you’re busy mak­ing other plans. I thought it was ridicu­lous. As I saw the world, you didn’t just let life hap­pen and coast on through. You made the plan and fol­lowed it with­out let­ting any­thing get in the way. End of story.

My plans in­cluded an in­cred­i­ble ca­reer, five chil­dren and an open cheque book. I liked the idea of never hav­ing to worry about ask­ing the price of any­thing. I had friends with sim­i­lar goals.

But I was 16 then. There was noth­ing I didn’t know and noth­ing I could learn from John Len­non or any­one else. How wrong I was.

I’m older now. I’m per­haps not wiser but un­de­ni­ably older. Sud­denly the years flew by and John was right. Life has got in the way.

I’ve learnt that things don’t al­ways go to plan and that’s not nec­es­sar­ily a bad thing.

I re­spect those with sin­gled minded vi­sion who achieve great things. How­ever, I now know it doesn’t come eas­ily. There are sac­ri­fices, and de­spite out­ward ap­pear­ances no one has the per­fect life. Money cer­tainly doesn’t solve ev­ery­thing.

I met some­one at a party re­cently. He was a friend of a friend who was in town for a few days. He was good com­pany and I took an im­me­di­ate shine to him. Un­for­tu­nately there’s not much chance I’ll ever see him again let alone ven­ture out on a date. Some peo­ple make an im­pres­sion though.

He re­minded me of a guy a friend of mine dated years ago. At the time I was aghast when it started to get se­ri­ous. I couldn’t han­dle the fact he was per­pet­u­ally bor­row­ing money from her. To be fair he was a lot of fun and hosted some fab­u­lous par­ties but he was never one to con­cern him­self with such things as sav­ing money or even the fu­ture gen­er­ally. He lived in the mo­ment, and made ‘‘chill­ing out’’ into an art form.

I was more drawn to the idea of be­ing one half of a power cou­ple and a boyfriend who shared my vi­sion for hard work, fame and for­tune.

Now I see the point of tak­ing time to smell the roses. Re­lax­ing with friends has be­come one of my favourite hob­bies.

These days I won­der if those who en­joy each day and don’t think too far ahead are the wise ones. The dev­as­ta­tion wreaked by the re­cent earth­quakes is a re­minder that no mat­ter how much we might want to be in the driv­ing seat, many things are beyond our con­trol.

If was writ­ing the speech I would have in­cluded this quote from John Len­non ‘‘time you en­joy wast­ing, is not wasted’’.

❚ Queen­stown’s Sin­gle Girl is look­ing for true love. Email mir­ror@stl.co.nz

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