On Friday one of our daughters will graduate from college. I couldn’t be more proud … or more shocked. Oh, I’ve known all of her life that she was going to go to college, do well, and graduate with honors. That isn’t what shocks me. I’m mostly stunned that she is graduating as a ten-year-old.
Oh, part of my brain understands that she really is 21, but a huge part of me can’t believe that is possible. I was there for the entire journey, and I remember every precious moment of it. No one warned me, though, that it would go by so fast.
Science fiction talks about the speed of light as if it is the fastest speed imaginable. These days, it feels like the speed of life is even faster. When I think about it all, I get anxious and a little depressed. I didn’t want my children to grow up so fast. I didn’t want my grandparents to grow old and leave so soon. Heck, I don’t want to grow old so fast myself. Yeah, I still feel like a 30-year-old, but I am increasingly reminded that I’m living in a much older body, with more days behind me than before me.
Death doesn’t make me afraid. Now, I can’t agree with John Denver that “it turns me on to think of growing old,” but I don’t mind it so much. It is just that I love life so much. I’ve tried to make the most of it, and I suppose some would say I’m greedy. Perhaps, but I don’t want it to be over so quickly. My strategy is to fill every day as much as possible and to relish every moment.
As she prepared for graduation, I wrote on my daughter’s Facebook page, “Don’t settle for anything less than an adventure that makes you happy and the world better!” It is the advice I would give to every graduate, and, you know something, every day that we are privileged to live we are a new graduate. We have learned something from yesterday and have a fresh opportunity to make today an adventure. Enjoy it and make the world better. Life passes too fast to spend a single day doing anything less.