Reading and Writing and Losing Time

There’s a story going around online called “The Last Taxi Ride.” It breaks my heart a little each time I read it. It’s about a cab driver who is picking up his last fare of the day. The woman he picks up is elderly, and tells him she is going to hospice, where she will soon die from cancer. She has no family left, and wants to take a scenic drive on the way to hospice. The cabbie drives her around for hours while listening to her memories of buildings they pass. The story ends with him dropping her off at hospice, and reflecting on how glad he was to have been the one to pick her up, to have been able to share that last beautiful drive with her.

So, I finished reading it this time, and instinctively started to go to, so that I could find out if the story was true, or just another online fable that people had turned into fact.

Here’s where my personal magic happened – I stopped myself from checking out the story. There’s only two ways that could have ended: I could have found out that it was true, which I already believed it to be, or I could have learned that it was fabricated, which would have robbed me of the story I had built in my own head.

I’m still not sure what my lesson is here, or why this seems so important to me. I just know that, like most people in the world, my instinct is always to go online, check things out, find “facts” or other things that will validate or entertain or inspire or anger me…for what purpose? I have trouble just taking things at face value, just enjoying them in their singularity, without running to the internet to shove more information in my crowded head.

I’m disappointed at myself for not writing much (ok, at all) right now. I’m disappointed at not sewing more, reading more, connecting with loved ones more, genuinely relaxing more. And yet I throw time directly down the internet drain constantly. I justify that I can’t really focus on anything, since I’m caring for two very busy and wonderful and loud boys…but if I have 3 minutes to be online, I have 3 minutes to jot down some words, or sketch a pattern, or mail a card to a friend I have been missing.

It’s so clichéd that people need to unplug more…but clichés are clichés because they are true much of the time. I need to take control of my moments, each tiny little one, before they all add up to years that have slipped out of my hands. That’s not the life I want to live. That’s not the way I want to remember these early years of being a mom. I want to feel joy, not regret, when I look back on this time. I want to read stories like “The Last Taxi Ride” and be inspired to write, like I did here, instead of turning to the internet and getting my soul sucked out.

I own every moment of my life, and each one is precious. I want to start acting like it.