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On How Life Is…

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On How Life Is…

It must’ve been ’99 and Macy Gray had just released her album ‘On How Life Is’ and that title and album have stuck with me since.

I’ve always been obsessed with the title and have spent years pondering what it means to me.  The songs were her interpretation of how she viewed life but what’s mine?

So this post is an attempt to express my interpretation of the title.

One of my favourite Bemba (Bemba is my language) quotes is: “ukutangila tekufika”, I use it often on myself and tell it to others as well.   In literal translation it means, to be ahead is not to arrive.

I was having a conversation with a young lady at work and when I asked her age her face wrinkled in such a way that I thought I’d literally stepped on her foot.  It was even more surprising when she revealed that she was younger than me (which I already suspected).  She began complaining about how she’s turning 30 in a few years and is not where she wants to be blah, blah, blah.  Been there, done that, now going to write about it.

It was time to put the quote, and now the title to use.

Through life, we’re always running other people’s races, everyone else’s but our own.  We’re looking at the people that are supposedly ‘ahead’ of us when we have no idea if they’ve really ‘arrived’ or simply if they are happy.  Because at the end of the day, that’s what really, really, really, matters.  We beat ourselves up too much and don’t look at the small gains.   We’re fixated on age and what we’re NOT doing at X years old.  I know I’m guilty of this.  But how about taking each day to do the best we can?   We cannot have that perfect picture.   Very, very, few people can and there is no use standing on the sidelines and burn out running someone else’s race.

Ask yourself, whose race are you running?  And then… take a moment for yourself!

And then Do Something!

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