‘I will live this day as if it is my last.’ So encourages Og Mandino in Scroll 5.
This is not a concept of which I’m unfamiliar. Practice, however, is another matter — the fact brought home with the rhetorical questions posed about any day but the present one.
Why should I throw good after bad? Can I relive the errors of yesterday and right them? Can sand flow upward in the hourglass or can I become younger than yesterday? No! Yesterday is buried forever and to be thought of no more.
Likewise tomorrow. Why should I throw now after maybe? Can tomorrow’s sand flow through the hourglass before today’s? Should I concern myself with events I may never witness or torment myself over problems that may never come? No! Tomorrow is buried with yesterday.
There are times though, when the hole where they lie buried could be deeper.
This is the day I have. It’s a priceless gift bestowed upon me but denied to others — and most likely the reason for a question and an assignment.
The question I’m to ask myself is, ‘What would the person I intend to become do next?’ The assignment is to get a newspaper and read obituaries.
Today, I met a man I’d never met. But I know him in spirit.
Roger was a ‘simple fighter pilot’ whose love for speed translated into racing snowmobiles and driving fast cars, of which he had several. At 20 years of age, Roger entered an Air National Guard Aviation Cadet Program in New Jersey. He retired from the Air Force in 1984 a highly accomplished and decorated full Colonel. He amassed over 4,000 hours in fighter aircraft. Among them were various models of the F-4 Phantom.
I grew up intending to live Roger’s life. But, while he was flying F-4’s in Viet Nam, I was in college pondering a major shift in direction. I chose photography over aviation. It’s pointless and I really wouldn’t change anything, but sometimes I wonder what life would be had the decision gone the other way. Fast, sexy machines still lie at my very core.
Oddly enough, if I were able to talk with Roger we could compare notes. As fortune would have it, the camera and my newspaper affiliation got me into the cockpit of an RF-4C for a 2-hour thrill ride. It was one of the highlights of my career.
Now for the question — what would the person I intend to become do next?
Wrap up his blog and get to other tasks at hand!