The occasional watching of the American Pickers has revealed a treasure in their clutter. It is not what they see or buy, or the knowledge about the items that they share. It is not their banter. It is more valuable than anything they ever purchased or bid on. It is something they occasionally hear.
“They ran out of time…” As the picker duo goes through barns and garages, stores and warehouses, they sometimes hear from a surviving child, spouse, friend or partner (and sometimes from the sellers themselves) that “they ran out of time …” to complete the renovation on the old car, build the tribute to vending machines, create a museum for children’s toys, or whatever other dream was behind the owner’s accumulation habits. They had a dream, they collected and repaired, and … they ran out of time.
We all will run out of time, and hopefully, we will have unfinished grand projects and dreams. If they ran out of time, it means they lived fully and abundantly. They lived with hopes, dreams, goals and optimism. And that is a beautiful thing.
I recall an attendee at one of my Memories to Memoirs ™ workshops who said that he had no new things left to do in life. He had “done it all.” Not hardly. But he, at least in that moment, felt like he had nothing new left to do. I challenged him a bit, but wasn’t going to grill him in front of an audience. I believe the things that other attendees shared opened his eyes, but for a moment, maybe a fleeting moment, he felt there were no others “firsts” to accomplish in life.
Remember the old joke punch line when the old man says to the young clerk, “Honey, I won’t even buy green bananas!” We never know how much time is left, but being amidst a grand dream, or big project, or meaningful plans keeps us looking forward with hope and optimism. We may choose to trade in one plan or dream for another, downsized one as energy and resources dwindle, but there is always something to put our wisdom, insights, love and creative energies into.
It is sad when we run out of time. It is more sad if we run out of the desire to live the time fully with dreams, plans, hopes and love.