The Short and Long of It

Lately something’s been stuck in my head, like a snippet of a song’s refrain playing over and over again.

It’s as if I have my own chorus – although it’s actually more like a soloist, with a deep, resonant voice – repeating the phrase in an ongoing loop.

It’s to the point where it has taken on a life of its own. Not surprisingly, it’s gotten me thinking – about issues tiny and gargantuan, trivial and deep, temporary and enduring.

I picked it up from something I saw on Gretchen Rubin’s website, The Happiness Project.com.

Rubin’s the author of a book by the same title in which she chronicles her yearlong odyssey to test out and incorporate into daily life all the conventional wisdom and popular culture about what makes us happy, and how. She followed that up recently with Happier at Home, the result of a school-year’s worth of tackling family- and home-centric challenges to bring peace, tranquility and contentment into her personal sphere.

She’s even got a Happiness Manifesto complete with her own Twelve Personal Commandments and Eight Splendid Truths.

But of all the words she’s written, all the ideas she’s tried, all the pronouncements made, this is the one phrase that stays with me.

It’s contained in this little video, The Years Are Short (also known as The Bus Ride). Try not to get all teary-eyed, but instead focus on the ‘aha’ moment to which she confesses.


In my humble opinion, she’s cracked the code to the secret to life. I’ve always believed life is the journey, not the destination. But this goes a step further, and gets to what really, truly matters. It has been an epiphany, and it is changing my life:

The days are long, but the years are short.




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