This one was inspired by a post on A Girl & A Boy.
When I was very little, little not being relative to my current weight and height, but to my current age, my father sat me down upon his knee and said, “There are two ways to live your life. The first is like a tortoise. He’s slow, methodical and conservative with his actions, movements and thoughts. When he crosses the road, he takes his time, looks both ways to make sure he always knows whats coming. The second way is like a rabbit. The rabbit is fast, he makes decisions on the fly and while sometimes those decisions get him into trouble, he’s fast enough that he can usually avoid harm due to his speed.”
I looked at my father, a look of confusion on my face. “Methodical is when you do things in order, like when your Abuelita makes tortillas… everything has a place, si?”
My father knew me well back then and my Abuela, she made the best tortillas on the planet.
“The safe move, the one that will make sure you’re always in once piece, is to live like the tortoise. He might not ever win the race, but he’ll always finish.”
I nodded my little peanut head with grave understanding.
“Of course, God gives every creature a gift when he creates them. He puts us on this Earth to live our life to the fullest, everything and everyone. All that he asks is that we get the most out of this great gift in the time that we have to enjoy it. While I’m sure God doesn’t play favorites between the tortoise and the rabbit, I think he’d be upset if, on the day you show him how you took advantage of the gift he gave you, it was still in the original packaging.”
And that my friends is why my philosophy is to live fast and hard and leave a useless husk dancing in the wind on my deathbed. I’ve surfed naked in the waters off tropical isles, I’ve jumped off a bridge in Cairns with a glorified rubberband around my ankles, I’ve swam with fish bigger than me, I’ve eaten things that populate nightmares, I’ve loved, I’ve lost, I’ve loved again, I’ve watched the sunrise in the city, I’ve watched the sunset in the country, I’ve conducted clinical research with various forms of chemicals and notated the effects on the mind and body. My body is not what it was, but then again, according to my dad, it shouldn’t be.
On that note, on this day, the first day of 2005… think about what you’re going to do in the course of the next year and make sure it fills up a few more squares on your Manbingo card.