T-Minus Friday

Friday was my last day in NYC.  Next:  Sleep.  Get up.  Throw my stuff in the van and drive out of here.  Just like that.

I turned in my access cards at work.  I packed my favorite mug.  Gave some really great people hugs.  I'd brought donuts.  They'd brought cake.  Walked out the door.  That was it.  Done.

It’s funny, all the things we think we can’t change.  Or don’t want to change.  But the truth is, for the vast majority of life, we do what we want.  Of course we don’t always have control over the big parameters: where we’re born, who are parents are, what kind of body we’re born into.  But beyond that, things really start to kick in.

He said, “You cut your hand off, you go to the hospital. No matter what else you’ve got going on.” He was right.

An old friend taught me a lesson:  I was making a lame excuse why we hadn’t seen each other in a while, and he called me up short.  He said, “We do what we want in life.”  I said, “Not always.”  He said, “You cut your hand off, you go to the hospital.  No matter what else you’ve got going on.”  He was right.  We do what’s most important to us.  And we decide what’s most important. 

To paraphrase our man Stephen Covey, “Put first things first.  Most urgent things will seldom be important.  And most important things will never be urgent.”  It’s never urgent to write a novel.  To learn to play an instrument.  To go on a walk with your wife.  To wrestle with your kids.  But they’re the most important.  I think.

All right.  Enough philosophizing.  Back to earth.  Today I scheduled a bunch of automatic bill pays for the next six months.  (Don't want to miss a payment while at sea.)  I picked up my new contact lenses. (You know, they just go better with sunglasses.)  And I picked up a fishing spear (Thanks Casey and Laurie!).  Pretty cool.  But even cooler: the thing that made me happiest this week was not urgent.  I took Wednesday morning and got in my minivan.  Without really planning it, I drove the whole length of Manhattan, twice.  Down and back.  Here’s a quick snippet.

Today, I drive off this island.  Next island: Sint Maarten.  T-minus Friday.