Whether you’re a fan or not, country music has some of the most prolific lyrics about life’s ebb and flow. In between the songs about Mama, trains, prison, fishin’, drinkin’, trucks, divorce, and hell raisin’, there are other songs that touch the heartstrings. One such song was recorded in 2001 by Diamond Rio. The title? One More Day was written by songwriters Jamie Jones, John Keller, Jason R. Pinnock, and Gary St. Clair is a masterpiece about the time we spend or wish we had with our loved ones. If you’ve never heard the ballad here’s the first line and chorus:
Last night I had a crazy dream
A wish was granted just for me
It could be for anything
I didn’t ask for money
Or a mansion in Malibu
I simply wished for one more day with you!
One more day, one more time
One more sunset, maybe I’d be satisfied
But then again, I know what it would do
Leave me wishing still for one more day with you
One more day….
In 2017 Scott McCreary recorded his hit, Five More Minutes, not long after the death of his grandfather. One of the lines:
At eighty-six my grandpa said there’s angels in the room
All the family gathered ’round knew the time was coming soon
With so much left to say I prayed Lord I ain’t finished
Just give us five more minutes…..
With age comes a heightened sense of awareness that time really is fleeting. Perhaps it’s because we are closer to the end of our days than in previous years. At 50, you are more in touch with your mortality than you were in your 20’s with a full life of ups and downs ahead. Both of these songs simply remind us that every day is a gift and we need to redeem it with loved ones and friends.
I’ve had the chance to be with a lot of people at the end of their days and I can’t recall one of them wishing they had one more day, or hour to work. Hospital emergency rooms, ICU and CCU units aren’t filled with people talking about going to work, finishing a project, or promoting a product. They are thinking about life and many are clinging to it.
Since 2002, a recurring theme in my life has been redeeming the time. I didn’t say I got an A+ in it either. However, as I’ve watched my parents age and as my children and grandchildren grow up it’s something that frequently presses into my heart, mind, and soul. It makes me stop and really consider what’s important. As a recovering workaholic and the adult child of one, I suppose that is a major factor in my affinity for this subject.
Work is important and the dignity of it cannot be overlooked. However, who we are is so much more important than what we do vocationally. I’m glad I discovered that with the help of professionals a long time ago. I fear where I’d be today had I ignored it. I’m often uneasy when long-tenured coaches and politicians well into their 70’s say they are stepping down to spend more time with their family. Think about that. Their children are grown and many of their grandchildren are no longer children. You can’t help but wonder what their family is thinking. It’s not to say that those who retire earlier get this either. But I do find irony in it. Yes, I’m for term limits for this reason if no other.
Who is the most important person with skin-on in your life? Now second, third, fourth, and so on? How much time do you spend with them (even long-distance through technology, phone, etc.) versus work? One of the hard truths of any position is that when you and I are gone there will be someone else to fill our vocational shoes/roles. We aren’t irreplaceable.
Young parents and people under 35 yrs of age, I can’t stress enough that you come to terms with this fact sooner rather than later. Dig deep and invest in those you love before you run out of time. I almost did, that’s why I’m imploring you to take stock now and why I write and comment on this frequently. There won’t be time later. There never is.
Monty Carter Storyteller & Brand Strategist
Image: Aron Visuals at Unsplash