Live “One final paragraph of advice: do not burn yourselves out. Be as I am—a reluctant enthusiast…a part-time crusader, a half-hearted fanatic. Save the other half of yourselves and your lives for pleasure and adventure. It is not enough to fight for the land; it is even more important to enjoy it. While you can. While it’s still here.
So get out there and hunt and fish and mess around with your friends, ramble out yonder and explore the forests, climb the mountains, bag the peaks, run the rivers, breathe deep of that yet sweet and lucid air, sit quietly for a while and contemplate the precious stillness, the lovely, mysterious, and awesome space.
Enjoy yourselves, keep your brain in your head and your head firmly attached to the body, the body active and alive, and I promise you this much; I promise you this one sweet victory over our enemies, over those desk-bound men and women with their hearts in a safe deposit box, and their eyes hypnotized by desk calculators. I promise you this; You will outlive the bastards.”
70 degree weather just exudes life. The call to adventure is deafening in my ears. I am sitting at my desk at Northern Vance High School, tapping my chewed No. 2 pencil on my desk counting the seconds until the 3 o’clock bell rings. Funny thing is I’m not a student but the teacher, a cruel teacher at that (the kind of teacher who gives unit tests on a Friday…yuck).
My brain has long since left my computer where I was attempting to create the perfectly scaffolded group assignment on linear regression and interpreting linear data. (#TFA) It’s days like today that make me ask myself over and over why education even matters and why I shouldn’t just go home, pack my bags, and hop on the next plane, train, bus to the nearest beach.
The Edward Abbey quote above has been my life mantra as of late. A bit selfish, a bit reckless, but full of truth. So often we get caught up in “helping” ourselves that before we know it we are wrinkled and crippled and on our way out, when in our minds we are just getting started. We work hard in high school to get a college scholarship. We work hard in college to get a good job. We work hard at our jobs to save money for our kids. We strategically raise our kids so they will become successful contributing citizens like ourselves. We save save save for tuition payments, retirement, and a luxury car.
Everything we do is tied to something in our future that will benefit our life, and those ties ultimately become the chains that prevent us from truly living.
“It is not enough to fight for the land; it is even more important to enjoy it.” If everything we do is to reach a specific purpose, we put up blinders and miss all the small novelties and joys that life presents us.
As spring dawns, and the mercury climbs higher up on the thermometer, take not one, not two, not three, but as many minutes as you would like to truly enjoy life.