Eleven:Eleven

Make a wish when you see 11:11 on a digital clock, I learned a few years ago. We take what we get and want more. We wish on falling stars, shed eyelashes, driving under a bridge while a train is going over it, and many other moments, some I may not remember and some I may not know of. (Fill in the blanks, won’t you, please?) And when I was very, very young, I had learned what to wish for. The basis of everything and the basic result of any wish. I could never tell anyone what it was, of course: I was afraid I’d jinx it. Still am.

I caught this particular moment on the cable tv box when I glanced at it tonight and started to make an elaborate wish and then I stopped. Happiness, I remembered, is all that matters. At the end of the day, isn’t that all we want: To be happy? If we’re happy, does anything else lost or gained really matter? What good is success or all the riches in the world without happiness? And what would you really miss so long as you’re happy?

It’s easy to make the worst of anything. Especially when we’re spoiled for choice. It’s easy to always wish for more. It’s easy to always want more. But if we don’t stop to take a moment to see what we have and appreciate it, if we don’t see that we may have more than others do, that while we are craving another person’s life someone else is craving ours, we will never be satisfied. We will always want, we will always want more and there is little happiness in feeling like you can’t have what you want. So instead we must turn to the old adage that talks about wanting what you have instead, or something like that. I don’t remember exactly what it says; it’s been a while since I heard someone talk about it.

Optimism is lost and what remains is desire. We appear to be living in a world of instant gratification and that’s all that becomes important. We only think of what we don’t have. We continue to seek that elusive, seemingly perfect state of affairs and forget how the present can be enjoyed. Perhaps we are falling prey to our own expectations and perhaps they extend a little beyond how far we’re willing to stretch. Perhaps we need a new set of eyes with which to see the world, perhaps we simply need a different perspective on it, perhaps we need to learn to adapt.

Has it been hammered into our heads that we can have it all? Maybe we can’t! Nothing wrong with ambition, but what if this was it? What if this was all you could have and nothing more? What if there was no other choice, no option, nothing more to reach for and no state of perfection? What would you do then? Would you learn to make the most of this, what you have right now? Wouldn’t you?

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