After all, it is just “miles.” A simple measure of distance traveled. You can easily convert them to kilometers. It all depends on where you live or the language you speak.
In some instances it makes sense to track them. When the gas gauge went out in my vehicle it was my only way to keep an accurate estimate of how much further I could drive without having to go to a gas station. Let’s just say my plan did not always work out the way I had hoped.
But why do we choose to count the miles in other aspects of our lives? What does it symbolize?
For my pick-up truck it is a way to keep track of how hard the engine has worked and how much life it MIGHT have left.
But what if we started wearing an odometer the second we arrived in the world (perhaps someone at Apple or another tech firm is working on that)? We already do it with an array of gadgets, but we aren’t actually tracking babies yet (at least not anyone that I know). Even for someone like me that tracks every workout, and writes in a journal everyday, it does not sound fun. Instead of just LIVING, we would be compelled to track our every step and each and every mile. Much of the fun of just living would vanish right before our eyes.
My truck is 28-years old, and a couple of weeks ago the engine cranked out its 100,000th mile, and “Service Engine Soon” light came on 60 miles later. The truck is full of rust, scratches, melted crayons on the seat, a hair tie keeping the back window closed, a lackluster air conditioning system, a radio (with a cassette tape player) that often stops working, different colored seat belts, a rearview mirror that keeps falling off, and plenty more where all of that comes from. The truck has lived. I have lived in it and it has indeed brought me value that my words cannot justify.
I have considered letting it go (several times). The day is coming. My friend Todd sees it differently. He tells me to hold on just a little longer. That perhaps we can give it some TLC and breath a little more life into it. That maybe, just maybe (I am not so sure), the value is yet to be realized. That perhaps, the book I have written, that will hopefully be published (it is a long process and I am learning more and more about the ins and outs of publishing each day) later this year, or early next year, owes its INK to the truck.
After all, that is where the writing started, back in 1996, next to the beach, each night as I sat in the truck starring at the mighty Pacific Ocean wondering what was going to happen on my journey.
And if my truck stops working tomorrow, then that is okay (the engine on my wife’s car recently blew up and it is a lot newer than my truck…so you just never know). My truck will surely tell me when enough is enough. Thanks to Todd, I have a better lens through which to see this concept come to life. This is what friends do.
My hope today is that my story helped you (I am grateful for all of you that choose to follow this blog…many thanks) see past the 100,000 miles in your life. It means something different for all of us. Chances are you have at least 100,000 miles of something ahead, and if not, then I hope you can find a good way to use the 86,400 seconds that you have been given today!
The first blog on my site was 1-year ago today…thanks for reading.