It is a common practice to use the statement “all my life”. The other day I heard a version of this come from the mouth of my four year old grandson, Jackson. Discussing our dinner options with my grandchildren, I had wishfully offered up Chinese not believing I would get a vote of support. Jackson immediately chimed in that he liked Chinese food and could we get orange chicken? Score a win for Opa. We were soon headed to the local Chinese restaurant to get our carry out and I guess I had expressed my surprise that he was a fan. Without missing a beat, Jackson announced that he always liked orange chicken, he had in his words “liked it all my life, Opa.”
It is a fact that all my life is a relevant term. For Jackson it was a grand total of four years, for me sixty -seven. Jackson’s four years being only a blip in my time line. We often think how fast time seems to move. No matter how long “all my life” is, the passage of time in our memories always seems like just a heart beat. I was once Jackson’s age and I am sure I had things I measured the same way. I am sure something I had experienced was the “best time of my WHOLE life.”
I didn’t have the heart to tell Jackson that he had probably not eaten orange chicken for more than a couple of years, but then even that was half his life. That family trip to The Outer Banks two summers ago was only separated by a moment in time for me but for Jackson it was half a lifetime ago.
“All my life” is a standard that we use and if that is the case, we need to respect it. Just as I will never know when I reached “middle age” until that day when I draw my last breath, I need to be productive with all the years ahead. It is refreshing to know that the best thing I ever did may still be on the horizon and not already just a memory.
Let’s live each day , week and month as a piece of the “all my life” mantra and be the best we can. That said, I guess I’ve tried to be a teacher all my life.
Thanks for reading.