Karl’s Blog 5-4-17

Last week was Ascension, a national holiday in France. Perfect day to be
thinking about … time.

Jean, my bible expert, tells me Ascension celebrates the 40th day after
Christ died on the cross and was resurrected. According to Christian
belief, he stayed on Earth for 40 days and hung out with his friends and
disciples. Then he went to his Father in heaven. I’d never heard this part
of the biblical story before, so it got me thinking. How would it be to
know you have just 40 days left on Earth? What things would you want to be
sure to do one more time, what sights to see, which people to spend time
with?

Wait, not to sound too pretentious with this comparison, but that’s kinda
how Jean and I are feeling now. We’ve got a little less than 40 days and
then we end our dream year in Paris. That means we know we can no longer do
everything. Make a list, check it daily, do the most important things,
prioritize.

I know, having “only” a month in Paris won’t seem like a problem to most of
you. More like a luxury. American vacations are rarely that long. Plus,
unlike Christ’s situation, we get to stay on Earth, and we can always book
a flight and come back to Paris. Still, we’re feeling the push to make the
most of our “final” days here.

This year has warped my perception of time in many ways. At the beginning,
it felt like we had all the time in the world. Do whatever we want every
day, no lists just do whatever catches our attention (after my four hours
of writing every morning, that is). That’s so different from how time feels
at home, squeezed between jobs and family and friends and meetings and
grocery shopping and… everything else on our long lists. Now we are moving
back to lists and choosing what’s most important to see and do. Hopefully
there’s some happy medium place, once we return to Chicago.

Ultimately, this Paris year has been a metaphor for life itself – when
young, it feels like life will last forever. The older we get the more
aware we are of the end, and of things we have not yet done or seen, how
important friends and family are, and experiences we’d like to have again,
if possible. Maybe there are other “Paris years” in our future. Yes or no,
this one has given us many memorable gifts to cherish and lessons to take
back to our Chicago life going forward.

[image: Inline image 1]


Karl Androes
On sabbatical in Paris!

Posted on June 4, 2017 in Karls Blog

Response (1)

  1. Pat/Joy
    June 6, 2017 at 10:57 am · Reply

    What great analogies, Karl – the Ascension, life itself. Actually, I often feel this way day by day. Morning finds me full of thoughts about what I’ll do or get accomplished that day. Evening finds me realizing that the day wasn’t as long or the to-do’s took more time than expected or my energy gave out before the to-do’s were finished, etc. Ah! but the next morning comes as a fresh gift with its own possibilities. And there’s never an end, I believe/find, to the things one wants to do, see, revisit, experience, etc. Time – such a mystery!
    Hi to Jean. Love, Pat

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