Such apt words were spoken by Flight Commander Christopher Ferguson, when commenting on the one-hundred-thirty-fifth and final space shuttle launch on Friday. Atlantis will hoist its four-person crew of veteran astronauts one last time, drop off a massive shipment of supplies at the International Space Station and stick a weightless fork in the thirty-year history of the Shuttle program.
Commander Ferguson and his mates must feel significantly god smacked by their good fortune at receiving front row seats to an historical event. It's a little like winning a lottery, except when you present your ticket, someone tells you, "We don't have a three-foot long cardboard check for you, but here's a cool orange suit, some Tang packets and a fancy little machine to make your pee into drinking water. You'll find it tastes similar to a Red Bull. Enjoy!"
The term, "pinch-me moment" floated around my subconscious after reading the article. I need more of those, I surmised, and not just for the big stuff like graduations, marriage, births and brand new Glee episodes.
I realized how much of my life is spent mulling over past and future events, completely skirting the present moment. For instance:
I awakened this morning at 5:06, extremely relieved after having occupied an indeterminate amount of time during 1983. I exhaled deeply upon realizing that I hadn't actually shown up naked to a Geology 101 final and that I didn't really have a vagina on my right calf.
Hopping on my bike at 5:49 for a brisk morning of anaerobic meditation, my brain chose not to register the magenta sunrise over the Olympic Mountains and its beautiful reflection on Puget Sound.
Nope, why do that when instead, I could stare ahead at the gravel trail and ponder what I should have said to that guy at work who said that thing to me and I didn't say anything but boy do I know what I could say now?
Last night, my daughter embarked on a movie date with a boy (I call him a boy, but he actually tips the scale closer to Burt Reynolds than Ryan Reynolds).
During the eternity she was away, I alternated between living ten years ago, at which time I'd be making up a bedtime story for her about a princess who had eaten too much Raisin Bran, and four hours into the future, when she would walk safely through the front door, and I would realize that I had made the right choice in sacrificing that rooster.
See what I'm saying? I think we can all use more "pinch-me moments." How often do we see a champion athlete, sweat and champagne streaming off his head and soaking his uniform, proclaim, "It feels great to win this trophy, but you know what? We're gonna do it again next year, too!"
Come on, man. maybe you can at least enjoy it until your shin stops bleeding.
We constantly say and hear, "Where did the time go?"
The time didn't go anywhere. We're the ones who weren't around.