"We have to get together for a pint and catch up."
I've said it, you've said it but we rarely made it happen. Our intentions were good, but life somehow always got in the way and we kept putting it off, laughing at the absurdity of what we deemed more important every time. Was it that we didn't want to hang out? Not at all, sincerely and deeply we were friends. But we prioritized getting together low because we thought there would always be more time and we could wait.
"Has it been that long?"
Why couldn't we find the moments we needed when we had them? Tired from work, overcommitted or under the weather, we would send a message begging forgiveness and promising to buy the first round when we finally made it happen...but it never did. We lost touch, moved around and moved on. You'd get that birthday notification and send a message, maybe a quick hello and I'll let you know when I'm in town so we can catch up. But we fell short of our promises and this will always be our regret.
"Great to see you, let's do it again soon!"
We would, on that rare occasion, when all the planets aligned, get together and raise that glass. The conversation wasn't stunted because we knew who we were and it flowed as naturally as we could imagine. Too brief, busy, busy, gotta head out and do what I do but we should do this again, real soon. Lingering in the parking lot, one last thing to say and then we part ways and head onto the next thing, a smile on our faces but the night fading into the mist of what comes next. The years passed and it felt like it never happened at all.
"Goodbye old friend"
The news drifts in and it isn't what we wanted to hear. We missed our chance to have that one more pint. Our friendship spanned years, decades maybe, but only in the briefest of moments and always with the promise of a future when we would have more time. The eternal optimism of our youth and the endless amounts of "later" we thought we had have now come to an end and how little we have is now clear. Waiting to do the thing, say the words or get together has given us only regret now and wishing it were different won't bring back what we meant to do.
Why we continue to put off the things we want to do, the places we want to go and the people we want to spend time with still confuses me. The priorities we set often don't match what they should be for our happiness, putting what we see as responsibility ahead of our own joy. We tell ourselves we will have time later to do what we want, go visit that friend or cross that thing off our bucket list. The reality is that our time is finite, tomorrow is not promised and every second spent not at least trying to live true to yourself is one that you will not get back.
"Hey, let's go grab a pint."
Did I make the call? Did you? Letting go of the past is good for your soul, learning from it is good for your life. Continuing to let other things get in the way of what you want to do is to say you relinquish control and will never put your own happiness first. Their isn't a magic button that gives you back the time you have already spent so make sure whatever you have left is not squandered. The moments you have missed are gone but the ones you want are just waiting to happen if you let them. Stay out of your own way, make the connection and get that pint with that one person today. Do it because you want to and tomorrow might never come.