The Problem With Counting Down the Days

I have friends who were truly devastated to watch Donald Trump inaugurated as our 45th president. In fact, a number of my friends have begun counting the days until January 20, 2020. I have seen a countdown clock with the hours and minutes and seconds. People are biding their time. Or, from my perspective, killing time.

Four years ago, my oldest child had just begun kindergarten. My youngest child was just out of diapers. I was a new Long Island houseowner, fresh from New York City, and picking up the messes left behind by Hurricane Sandy. Almost four years in, my job as a trial attorney had already begun wearing me down. As I sat at my desk, listening to the same argument over and over again on WFAN sports radio, I was counting the minutes until I could leave work and pick up my kids. I was biding my time. I was killing so much time. You can do so much with four years.

Four years from now, my oldest child will be on his way to high school, thinking about dating and college (truth be told, he thinks about that now). My youngest child, on the cusp of adolescence, will already be out of elementary school. I am not willing to bide the next four years. I am not going to let people in power determine how I use my time on earth. How much of it I have left.

I was at physical therapy this evening, conveniently integrated with my gym, which is the size of a junior college. My kids were in the kids activity center downstairs on the other side of the complex. The parade was petering out on the flat panel screens, when suddenly, the power went out. I will admit, the first thought I had was, "This is it. Our enemies sensed weakness. We are under attack." Of course we weren't, but for former city dwellers, 9/11 is still fresh after 15 years. My next thought was, "Get the kids." I headed down the stairs with throngs of others, prepared to evacuate. As I was halfway to them, the power went back on. We were all blessed with more time.