Sunday, July 20, 2008

life's too short for that

I used to think "Life is too short" statements were poetically disguised versions of "I'm too lazy to care." As if we were using an excuse to not work hard or plan for the future or worry about how we treated people. Maybe I just heard too many sarcastic versions of it. Maybe I was just a snob. Because now I'm kind of obsessed with this concept.

Life is short. Life on this planet in this body is short. Now, I don't think it's too short to watch movies. Maybe because I don't care if I die after seeing a great chick flick as long as someone I love is with me. But I had to leave my last job because of this concept. I really respect the necessity for good hard work - I do. But I hated how many Saturday nights I went to sleep with dread that my work week would start the next day. Forty hours a week in a job for which I could no longer find meaning - that was too many, considering life is short.

There are several small things in life I don't stress over because life is too short. Usually the small things involving small children. Spills and broken pictures and too many toys getting dragged from the bedroom - life's too short to care more about the neatness of my living room than the not unpleasant reminder that little boys live here.

At one point I decided life was too short not to go for my dreams with all my heart. That's how my book is out in there in the publishing universe at all. But now I think life is too short to feel desperate about its ever getting published. Do you know how long this process can take? Six months to a year before anyone offers to buy it and a year or two after that before they actually get it on the shelves. Do you know how much can happen before then? Jesus could return. That's what I think about. So sometimes I just get giddy about the fact that an agent noticed me, and that she thinks the book is worthy of publication at all. Really, for that dream, I've already done it. I wrote an entire manuscript and got it out there in the universe.

I think these days I need to know that if I was told bad news again - if I had to face an early death - I need to know that I could come home from that doctor's office, sit quietly in my little home with my children and husband around me, and be perfectly satisfied. Terribly sad that it would end but without the regret that there was so much left to do.

Lest you think I'm trying to be too heavy here, I also think life is too short for ugly shoes. There was a Flair for Facebook that said that. And I wanted it, except the "too" was spelled wrong. Life is definitely too short to spell your slogan wrong.

What about you? What is life too short for, for you? I really want to know - funny and serious both. Kind of like a really good chick flick.


Lori said...

What a great post! I think life's too short to hold grudges. I mean, what's the point? You only hurt yourself by doing that. Let it go already! I also think life is too short to wear cheap perfume. I think every woman should have at least one bottle of really good, wonderful, expensive perfume just because.

serenity said...

Oh, this is a good one! Well done, Lori! I hope more people play. This could be such a useful list!

Kathy said...

I think life is too short to complain when my husband hangs his jacket on the bedpost. I'd much rather think about how grateful I am to have him! And I totally agree with Lori about the grudges. Releasing them helps me take a deep breath.

Ari & Mommy said...

I love this post; it's one of my favorites. It really makes you think about the small, or big, things we focus on too much of the time. I think life is too short to argue with or complain at my husband, much like Kathy said. And it's also much too short not to take advantage of those wonderful moments when my daughter wants all of my attention. Wow, the list could go on and on. I hope more people post on this.

Tracy said...

Oh, Serenity... I LOVE this post! I think if we realized how short life really is, we would have so much more courage to try everything that comes our way! That's why I'm so excited about your new job... you chose an adventure rather than letting fear of failure dictate you future. I guess that's mine... Life is too short to let fear of failure rob you of all your adventures! I never, ever want to get to the end and have to say, "Dang it... I didn't even try."

Felicity said...

Life is too short to be worried about the intricate future when God tells us to just live like the lily. (I love the movie YOU CAN'T TAKE IT WITH YOU for this reason.)

Lately, I've been reminded of this line from a worship song:

"Look at the way the flowers bloom for you/ They want to show you their beauty, Lord."

Part of that beauty is living like we believe what he said - we don't have to worry about tomorrow!

Den said...

Life is too short to read all the books I want to read; it is also too short to quit adding new books to the list.

Valerie said...

Life is too short to miss family dinners,
or the games that make our kids feel like winners.

Life is too short to hold back kisses and hugs,
or to yell too loudly about stains on the rugs.

Life is too short to skip reading a good book,
or to say no when the kids ask to help you cook.

Life is too short to criticize and complain,
or to focus on things lost and not the things we gain.

Life is too short to neglect our lifelong friends,
or to waste time stressing about housework that never ends.

Life is too short to put our dreams on hold,
or to keep God’s love inside because sharing seems too bold.

Life is too short to share more tears than laughter,
or to lose faith in our vows, and happily ever after.

Life is too short to be cold and unforgiving,
or to forget to take a moment to appreciate living.

Felicity said...


That was awesome! Did you compose that on the spot or is it something you had already created? Either way it is just lovely!

Valerie said...

I just wanted to add to the list but I couldn't narrow it down to one thing. Life is too short for many things! I tell my husband life is too short to not take pictures! Even if I have a little bit of OCD about it.

Kathy said...

Valerie - your mother's gifts are glowing in you! I still remember a beautiful story she wrote when we were in the sixth grade based on the 23rd Psalm. And, of course, I have a treasured birthday poem from her. And... (need I go on?)
Great poem!
Kathy Marlene

cindi said...

.... to not love every minute.

Beautiful post (and pic)

Anonymous said...

Ah Seren, you've done it again. Life is too short to not say the things you want to say for fear of rejection. (Say What You Need to Say-John Mayer, luv the song) Life is too short to say no to the sister that calls and asks, will you drive 700 miles with me so we can see Mom? Life is too short to "settle'. Stick up for yourselves and others!!
I could go on for hours but maybe I should (get back to work sshhh)

SolShine7 said...

Your blog really gets me thinking about the fun and the important stuff.

Life is to too short to not smile at least once a day. Some things that make me smile are sunsets, cheesecake, good books, favorite movies, great music, hugs, karaoke, long conversations with friends and a nice nap.

Great post!

Anonymous said...

Seren I asked a few coworkers to fill in the blank with their first thought:
M: too always drive in the slow lane
L: for Bozo's (lol)
S: to stress over bad hair days
M: to never try spicy foods


serenity said...

I like this collaborative effort so much, I haven't been able to write a new post. I just love all these thoughts.

Anonymous said...

Hi Seren! Well this one was certainly tailor-made for me... :) Life is simply too short to just "exist". Follow your instincts. Listen to yourself, your inner voice. You know you better than anyone. If you are unhappy, fix it. It is ok to make changes and take chances and take risks - as my sis said before - don't settle. Say what you need to say. Be kind to others - it will come back to you when you least expect it and when you need it the most. I guess in a nutshell - life is too short to just innocently stand by. Live it. Cherish your family and friends. Love you! Melissa (Flo Rida at the beech! ha)

Matt Bowman said...

Coming home from Quincy Saturday evening after shopping for school shoes and such for the kids, we were listening to one of my favorite public radio programs, The Midnight Special, which has everything from showtunes to folk music, often funny, usually selected around some theme. The song that caught our attention and made us think of your post was called Life Is Too Short to Fold Underwear, and I submit it as our contribution to your collection. (Actually, being somewhat obsessive-compulsive, I usually do fold my underwear, but Amy staunchly refuses to participate in this particular activity.)