Time is not measured by the years that you live
But by the deeds that you do and the joy that you give -
And each day as it comes brings a chance to each one
To love to the fullest, leaving nothing undone
That would brighten the life or lighten the load
Of some weary traveler lost on Life's Road -
So what does it matter how long we may live
If as long as we live we unselfishly give.
~ Helen Steiner Rice
I had just gotten off the phone with someone who has offered me space in their clinic. We were beginning to talk specifics: rent, when I could start moving in furniture, expected starting date, etc. And he asked if I saw this as a long-term arrangement. I faltered for a second, then asked what he considered “long-term”.
“Five years?” he suggested.
As I re-played the conversation in my head, complete with stumbling over my time-rehearsed and well-used anti-committal excuses, I had to stop and ask myself, “What am I doing all this for then?”
Seriously, do I really think that I'm putting all this time, energy, effort and stress into starting a business... for a few months? Are the actions I'm taking not actually the epitome of committing to a long-term? Even if I define that as something different than five years? So why can't I just say it?
With the exception of school and one contract-position, the only actual time-defined commitments I've made in the past 14 years are the apartment leases I've signed. And I got out of one of those earlier than the agreed upon time. Any jobs I've held or relationships I've been in... just... sort of... lasted. Until they didn't.
But this. This is different.
First of all, I bought a bed last year. It made my transient life a little more difficult to move so often. So, as I said in my phone conversation, I have no plans to go anywhere else anytime soon.
Second, this kind of thing that I'm doing here, it takes time. Time to become established; time to become known; time to make enough money to move somewhere else. And even then, a move to a different city, well it's like starting all over again. How many times do I really think I plan on doing that?!
I've been working on a business plan. But after that phone conversation I realized I may need to put more thought into the time-lines. Maybe I'm not quite ready to say yes to five years. But that doesn't mean I can't define long-term in my own way. And it doesn't mean there isn't room for developments along the way that will affect or change those long-term plans. But I do have to start somewhere.
And really, when I think about how fast the last year or two... or 14 years of my life have gone; plus my excitement with finally be making this goal happen... Well, I just might find myself with no plans to go anywhere else after another year or two or 14 either!