back to life

What if time doesn't do what it's supposed to do?

I like most types of music.  Country is my favorite as I’m attracted to the storytelling element of many country songs. I was driving to the airport this morning and heard a new song by Lady Antebellum called, What If I Never Get Over You. 

Now as you’re likely thinking, this song is about the end of a romantic relationship, and you’re right.  But what caught my attention this morning as I heard the song for the first time was one line: what if time doesn’t do what it’s supposed to do?

So my question to you is this:  What the hell is time supposed to do?  In this song, it seems that time is supposed to magically let the people in the relationship move on, and get happy again, and maybe even find another romantic partner. Well, don’t hold your breath on that one or you’ll likely turn blue. This song—and I really like it—simply focuses on one of life’s struggles; the loss of love.

As I drove up I-95 toward the rising sun my mind began to explore this question, What the hell is time supposed to do?  Here’s what I came up with: life ain’t perfect, and this is okay.  This is a belief that I’ve been working hard to internalize for myself.  Life will force us to struggle with this one.  What do I mean it ain’t perfect?  Well, it wasn’t perfect when I lost a good friend in a tragic accident in 1992. It wasn’t perfect on that clear Fall day in NYC on 9/11. It wasn’t perfect when I received so many calls over the years to tell me about the deaths and sickness of people I love (Cancer, ALS, and all the rest).  I’m certain you can tell me all your stories of this imperfect life.

 This life is not perfect because:

  •  Accidents happen

  • People operate out of truth and integrity

  • People fall out of love with one another

  • Our kids fail – they lose games; don’t get into certain colleges, and make poor choices

  • Companies lay people off

  • People get sick and suffer and die

The first line of the song is a good one and it’s this: “It's supposed to hurt, it's a broken heart. But the moving on is the hardest part.”  I believe this life is a wonderful gift, and it’s designed to be imperfect because we’re human.  What’s important for us to consider is to know this, to really know it. I don’t mean we should be walking around expecting sadness and struggle like Winnie the Pooh’s pessimistic friend, Eeyore.

No, we should come back to this life everyday and set the intention to create a wonderful life, and to accept the imperfections and heed the wisdom of St. Francis de Sales when he offered us this: “Have patience with all things, but chiefly have patience with yourself. Do not lose courage in considering your own imperfections, but instantly set about remedying them—every day begin the task anew.”  For me, deSales is also talking about life.

The “moving on” part is what is tied to the title of this blog, “What if time doesn’t do what it’s supposed to do?”  Look, time is not gonna do anything, and to wait for it to do something is a cop out on our part, it’s an excuse for us not to engage in the struggle(s) of life .  Time doesn’t do anything, it can’t and it’s not supposed to, it just is, and it just passes. We—I repeat—we, are supposed to do something in this worldly measurement  called ‘time.”  We are supposed to acknowledge the bad times and struggles in life and surrender to the pain and the hurt, it’s part of living. We’re supposed to seek support from our family and friends and Faith.  We’re supposed to develop a vision as to what it’s going to like when we move through the hurt and loss.  We’re supposed to get our ass out of bed and take action.  Engage. Tap into that wonderful slice of the energy of your humanity called resilience.

So, I wish you all  the best, and when this is not the case and you are in one of life’s struggles, I wish you the ability to “press on” and realize that time is not supposed to do anything, you are!

God Bless.