I Know You Rider

Time is fleeting.  That is no secret.  We only get one go around on this crazy orb that rotates around the sun.  Some folks will make the case that because we only get one go around, we should live a life of stability, safety, and comfort.

The other side of that coin is…we only get one go around…so go in screaming like a banshee (to paraphrase Brian Billick circa 2000) and make the freakin’ most of it.

There’s probably a happy medium somewhere in there.  But the point shouldn’t be lost: Live a life that will leave people missing you when you’re gone.

I was in Miami this week at a client event with several colleagues who are phenomenal people — top notch at their jobs; at informal camaraderie; at late night conversation.  One of those guys, in an assumed self-admittance of an early departure from this spinning orb,  likes to cynically say, “You’re gonna miss me when I’m gone.”

Whether he was intentionally quoting the Grateful Dead or not is beside the point.  Both guys I was with…I will miss them when they’re gone.

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When I got home from Miami, I was catching up on some reading…and stumbled across an older Sports Illustrated article from the beginning of December.  In it, columnist Phil Taylor wrote about Kobe Bryant’s last season in the NBA.

I care nothing for the NBA.  And while I respect Kobe Bryant, I don’t really have an opinion about his career.  At least…a credible opinion.  But Phil Taylor put Kobe’s last season in perspective…

As an athlete who announced that this was his last season, Taylor likened Kobe’s (what has been known as his) “farewell tour” to that of Derek Jeter.  And prior to Jeter, Cal Ripken probably had the most famous and media covered farewell tour that I’ve ever seen.

Many call those types of farewell tours…what with their parades, pre-game awards ceremonies, and all of the fan fare….a bunch of bull.  Overhyped crap…sensationalized…media-driven events that are an abomination to the sport and the athlete being celebrated.

On one hand, they’re right.  But on the other…as Phil Taylor pointed out…it’s an opportunity for a city to pay its respect to an opponent who they booed…or who tortured them…over the course of his or her career.  To bury the hatchet, at least for a moment, and join together in acknowledgement of something special.

For as painful as it was to see Michael Jordan in a Wizards’ uniform….for as painful as it was to see Johnny Unitas in San Diego….or Frank Thomas in an Oakland or Blue Jays uniform (three first-ballot Hall of Famers)…it was also an opportunity for fans who wouldn’t have otherwise gotten to see them play in those cities to catch a glimpse at fading legends.

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I still feel like I’m 21 mentally.  It’s a curse to think like that.  I looked through several picture albums tonight and thought the same thing after each of them, God…look how young I looked back then.

And with two awesome girls who are now 7 and 5, I sometimes sit on my couch after they go to bed and think, Where has the time gone?  How the hell are they 7 and 5 already?

You see, while we lament the fleeting passage of time, it’s very real.  People that you’re drawn to the most, many of them are also the same ones that cause us to say, “I’m gonna to miss you when you’re gone.”

But the next line of the song is a positive line.  An optimistic verse.  So even if you miss someone who has gone; or a time in your life that you wish you could relive….always remember:

The sun will shine, in my back yard someday. 
March winds will blow all my troubles away.

Which is why you never take life too seriously: Nobody gets out of it alive.

For those of you who don’t know the meaning of the title of this post…
I urge you to click here.

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