Once In A Lifetime

After my skydiving adventure, I noticed myself thinking on the phrase, “Once in a lifetime.”

A common reaction, I learned, is to distill such an amazing and somewhat absurd experience by saying it’s “once in a lifetime.” I even caught myself thinking the same. It’s such a disservice that downplays all that we’re capable of.

To briefly step onto the carpe diem soap box, anything* worth doing once is worth doing more than once.

During my yoga teacher training, we had an excellent discussion on tantric philosophy one night with Derek Cook. In my personal interpretation of tantric philosophy, life is about seeking experiences and connections that make you feel closer to whichever higher power you believe in, be it the collective human consciousness or the Judeo-Christian God.

There are moments in our lives when we realize we have an opportunity before us and decide, wholeheartedly, to seize it. What I can’t shake the feeling of lately is that our entire lives are a collection of these opportunistic moments, all ours for the taking. When given the chance, why not do every single life-affirming activity that comes our way, once, twice, or a million times?

On the plane home, with limited musical options, I pressed play on my Nostalgic playlist. Full of all those songs that spoke to me, and continue to do so, since my early teens, the Talking Heads “Once In a Lifetime” came on and I smiled. I vividly remember the first time I heard this song in an introduction to philosophy course taught by one of the coolest professors I’ve ever had, Dr. Anne Pomeroy.

Discussing the force that drives us, that causes us to say, “This isn’t enough” once we get what we think we want, she mentioned this song. How, as we grow older, it becomes deceptively easy to succumb to habit and safety. The cost is, of course, waking up and asking “How did I get here?”

Here’s to coming up for air as often as humanly possible.

* Okay, okay. There may be some definite caveats here, but you get the idea.

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