When I first moved to the island, it was for a finite time.
My blueberry-colored winter rental was up at the end of April. Finding housing in the summertime isn’t easy. So I figured I would go all in for the handful of months I was here. They could be all I had.
I joined the book club, the environmental action team, the ukulele band. I sold fudge and lemon cake at the holiday fundraiser, learned the names of the ferry deckhands, explored every nook and cranny of the shoreline.
If I had work and felt tempted to skip out on an evening get-together, I’d remind myself, You might not get another chance. So, I’d zip my thick coat all the way up and go participate in the life of the island.
And never once did I regret showing up. I felt like I was becoming a part of this place.
Then, I got lucky and found a lovely spot to live for after April. And, with the assurance of more time, my “all in” commitment slipped to “somewhat in” to “in when it’s convenient.”
I stayed home more, I skipped out on get-togethers more, and I showed up less. Because I had time. And even though I started to feel a little less a part of this place, I told myself I could go next week, next month, next time.
And finally, some part of me stood up and called my own bluff: Those ideas about time aren’t true. What’s ahead isn’t guaranteed. Don’t forget that part of a Seneca quote, “The whole future lies in uncertainty.”
I’m participating more now, contributing more, showing up more. I stay home, too. It’s a balance. But I’m aiming to live like I might not get another chance. And it helps to remember the other part of that Seneca quote: