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Excuses and Eclipses

An amazing event is going to happen minutes, maybe hours from you.  It hasn’t been this easy to get to in 100 years.  The universe is bringing an experience people describe as life-changing, as confirming their belief in God.  An experience that is said to bring grown men to tears.

But you don’t go.

You can’t be bothered.

Maybe you’ll watch the video.

I’m talking about being in the zone of totality for the Total Solar Eclipse.  I get it – some people really couldn’t go.  But, if you’re honest with yourself, many of you could have gone if you really tried.  What was your excuse?  Let’s take them one-by-one.

I had to work.  Okay, but you did manage to take that day off when you had a head cold.  I’m willing to bet you had some leave or vacation time.  I do understand that some people really did have to work, but the rest of you need to ask yourselves what would merit time off?  Everyone who witnessed the total eclipse will remember it for the rest of their lives.  Will you remember August 21, 2017 for the rest of your life?  Do you remember it now?

It was too far away.  So, what are your limits?  “I will travel no more than 500 miles to witness the amazing.”  “No more than 100?”  How about 5?  You won’t even walk outside?  Can you be bothered to live?  In my humble opinion, if you live in the continental US, this event was on your doorstep.  The total eclipse came to you.

I didn’t have the money.  Again, a legitimate excuse for a small percentage of you.  The eclipse was free.  Yes, you had to get there.  It might have cost as much as your last mani/pedi.  Glad to see you have your spending priorities in order.

I was too busy.  Hmmmm……. but you managed to watch the latest season of This is Us.  When are you going to stop living other people’s lives and start living your own?

I didn’t have anyone to go with.  Now that excuse just makes me mad.  If you can go into the voting booth and make a decision about the future of our country, you can do anything by yourself.  Get some independence.  (Or did you use one of the above-mentioned excuses to avoid voting too?)

It didn’t last long enough.  Many of the most amazing things in life don’t last long – your first kiss, a shooting star, a rainbow.  That’s the very thing that makes them so special.  You were measuring value the wrong way.

If you were in the zone of totality with me – you know.  The eclipse was special.  You felt awe, joy, wonder.  It brought tears to my eyes and a huge smile to my face – it was magnificent, miraculous, glorious.  And no video or photo will ever come close to doing it justice.  You had to be there.  Like so much of life, you needed to show up.

So, what was your excuse?  And not just for the eclipse – what excuses are you making for missing your life?  Me and several million of my rowdy friends will never forget August 21, 2017 – you may already have. Don’t let any more days get away.



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5 years ago

I didn’t miss it! When we heard about it several months ago, we planned our vacation around it and went to our vacation home in SC, which was within 20 miles of totality. We invited friends (the wife is a school teacher) and their 4-year old son to go with us. It was so worth the traffic to get to the area closest to us that was in totality!!!

Scott Arnold
5 years ago

We took the kids, nine and five to South Carolina to see it. Was a gorgeous day and guess what happened.
A nice big O cloud rolled up right at the magic moment. We had to explain to the kids that even though we could not see the ring, we could see the whole place get dark for a couple minutes. I was very very disappointed. Very…but we immediately started looking for when and where the next one was going to be, but you know, with life these things aren’t easy to chase around the globe.