"Oh, my friend, it's not what they take away from you that counts. It's what you do with what you have left.
— Hubert Humphrey"
This quote seems especially poignant this month as my student loans have now entered repayment. "My days of living the high life are over," I thought as I plugged in my payment to my on-line bill pay system. And then my wonderful friend, Steve, said, "Ah, you just get used to it." I thought he may be saying this to me just to make me feel better. Steve's not like that. He wants me to feel better, yes. Though he's a straight shooter. If I'm doing something that's leading me down the wrong path, he'll tell me. No holes barred.
I had dinner with my friends Elizabeth and Kerry tonight and we were discussing relationships. Elizabeth is going to a number of weddings this year, and so we got on the topic of marriage which naturally lead to the topic of divorce and how high the rate is in the U.S. I said that I wasn't quite sure I'd ever be able to handle a divorce as ending dating relationships is hard enough for me. "You surprise yourself with what you can handle," they both said. And in the past few years I have found that to be true. Even when I thought I was down and out, it always turned out that I was down temporarily and that being out was never in the picture.
This same quote also speaks to how much energy or time we have left in our lives after work and other commitments. It's important to consider what we do in those free moments, with the energy that remains. And can we find activities that replace the energy we have lost while engaged in other tasks? It's worth the time and effort to consider "when we are stripped of extra funds, time, energy, relationships, etc., what is it that sustains us?" And how will be make the most of it? Inevitably, at some point, it will be all we've got.