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The Best Is Yet To Come . . . August 21, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Gratitude, Happiness, Humor, Mindfulness.
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IMGP1667aWe have a message board outside the clubhouse for announcements.

When there isn’t a 4-foot-long gator in one of the lakes or an upcoming social event looming on the horizon, the board is used to post inspirational sayings, trivia questions, etc.

* Kindness Echoes
* Who Shot J.R.?
* Shift Happens
* Which 2 vegetables are perennials?

Yesterday, the board announced:

THE BEST IS YET TO COME

Hmm . . . I’m not convinced.

“The best is yet to come” is one of those rather ridiculous “truisms” we intone with great regularity to remind ourselves to “keep on trucking.”

I don’t think it’s a true statement. Not for most of us, anyway.  At best, the best is yet to come for some of the people, some of the time.

Unless, maybe, it’s meant in the collective sense.

Calvin-gots-an-Idea

Once global warming and climate change and melting glaciers wipe man off the face of the planet, animals like the Black Rhino may breathe a sigh of relief:

Now, that’s good.  In fact, it’s the best!

God should NEVER have taken that extended sabbatical after Day 7.  He should have pushed through the burn straight into Day 8.

But that’s only in the collective sense.

On an individual basis, how many of us really believe that “the best is yet to come”?

Kids, sure ~ especially in the days leading up to Christmas.
Young adults, maybe ~ until the bills start rolling in faster than the paychecks.
New parents, of course ~ those little bundles of joy are full of promise.  A fresh canvas.  Another chance to “get it right.”

But what then?

The-Pink-Panther

Do we really believe that “the best is yet to come” AFTER we’ve ticked all the requisite boxes:

* Grow up
* Get married
* Have kids (or don’t)
* Enter the workforce
* Buy a house . . . with granite counter tops and double sinks!
* Get a gold watch
* Retire

IMGP3957

The idea of retirement keeps many of us moving forward.

But if retirement is “the best” . . . why do so many oldsters look over their shoulders to talk about “the good old days.”

For that matter, if we are convinced that the best is yet to come, why are we not giddy with anticipation, like Goofy, at the start of each new day?

Goofy-Riding-A-Bike

For most of us, life is like riding a roller coaster ~ we reach a pinnacle and then begin a slow descent (or steep terrifying drop) as we age.

As years flow from one to the next, we are forced to say good-bye to people and things we once loved.  In our golden years, after getting that gold watch, we experience aches and pains, difficulty sleeping, and creeping senility.

We no longer stare at the ceiling “too excited to sleep.”  We’re awake at 2 a.m. because insomnia has, once again, interfered with our steadfast desire for deep restorative sleep and peaceful slumber.

I am not persuaded that the best is yet to come.
I suspect that Robin Williams felt the same.

Grumpy gus

Or, perhaps, after struggling with insomnia, he just longed for oblivion.

Morpheus, Morpheus . . . where for are’t thou Morpheus?

The trick to moving forward to the “Finish Line” (rather than jumping ship or pulling the plug) lies in getting a good night’s sleep.  Every night.

Failing that, we increase the odds of enjoying ourselves for the duration of the cruise when we: (a) hang on to our sense of humor, (b) maintain perspective, (c) focus on the positives (like getting a good night’s sleep once in a Blue Moon), (d) eat lots of chocolate, and (e) convince ourselves that things don’t have to be “the best” in order to be “good enough.”

Collect enough drops of joy on a moment by moment basis and life is pretty good ~ even if we no longer feel like a kid in a candy shop who’s too excited to sleep because we’ve been brainwashed into believing the best is yet to come.

IMGP3950

Aah . . . that’s better!  (Stay tuned ~ the best is yet to come!)

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Comments»

1. suzicate - August 21, 2014

In personal moments, the best may be yet to come. However, collectively as a nation and world, as much is progressively deteriorating, I don’t see “the best” around the corner unless there are some big positive changes in mankind.

nrhatch - August 21, 2014

Platitudes like this keep many from tossing in the towel when the going gets rough. But for it to be a universal truth (“a true truism”), life would have to be an upward spiral for everyone.

From my perspective, that doesn’t seem to be the case.

2. shreejacob - August 21, 2014

I wondered where this post was leading…and I’m glad that it ended the way it did. The best is yet to come…maybe it’s better to say, the “best” is at this very moment?

Btw…hi!!..lol

nrhatch - August 21, 2014

Hey Shree! Long time no see. How you be?

My problem lies in the use of the superlative ~> “the best” since it requires a frame of reference, a comparison. Whether it’s true depends on the individual trajectory of our life.

* Some peak early and coast downhill to the Finish Line. For them, “the best” is always behind them.

* Others rise and fall, with peaks and valleys and highs and lows throughout their lifespan ~ but the earliest peaks are often still the Highest and “Best” peaks.

* For “late bloomers” (like Grandma Moses) the statement may be true. Even then it’s not certain ~ G.M. started painted because her arthritis prohibited her from engaging in other creative pursuits.

When we’re not trying to persuade ourselves that “the best” is around the next bend, we are free to enjoy the good enough around us right here and now.

3. Pix Under the Oaks - August 21, 2014

I don’t know about the best is yet to come but I am hanging on to there is some good still to come. I look forward to those little things.. I have a new camera strap coming and I am excited because it is cute.. 🙂 I AM having a hard time sleeping and I am in a weird sleep pattern.. don’t like it.. nope. Nice to see your paintings Nancy!

nrhatch - August 21, 2014

Good. It’s good to hang on to “the good” without worrying about whether it’s “the best.” It’s tiring to use external reference points from the past or future to characterize TODAY. To the simple joys of life! Like sleep.

Hope you get some decent zzz’s soon, Pix.

4. Rainee - August 21, 2014

I enjoyed your thoughtful post Nancy. I have also wondered about that saying – it is forever looking forward and not being satisfied with what we have and are today. I guess it is a glib saying to overcome some of our daily hassles.

nrhatch - August 21, 2014

Thank you, Rainee! That’s another reason it bugs me ~ it implies that we should be forever looking forward rather than enjoying the roses blooming in our garden today.

I’d already been thinking about the trite and glib nature of the phrase. When it got posted front and center on the Message Board, I decided to share my thoughts.

5. NancyTex - August 21, 2014

For me, instead of ‘the best is yet to come’, I think about it as ‘the future is yet to come’. And to me the future is exciting and hopeful. Is it the best? Probably not. But is it promising? Absolutely!

nrhatch - August 21, 2014

Yes! The future is filled with promise and potential.

I have a t-shirt (with zebras on it!) that says: “Hang on. The Future is NEXT.” For me, it’s a reminder to be patient, allow the path to unfold, and expect a few pleasant surprises (like zebras!) around the bend.

6. Val Boyko - August 21, 2014

When I saw the title this morning I cringed … could she really think that!?! This platitude irritates me too.
On Two levels
– the evaluative judgment of “the Best” which implies that what has happened is “less than” in some way.
– and “yet to come” which takes us into the future and into fantasy world rather than dealing with life right now.

“Things are what they are. Lets look at them and deal with them. The future is unknown and filled with possibilities”

Love your a)-e) life principles …

Val x

nrhatch - August 21, 2014

Thank your for cringing at my blog title, Val! 😎

I concur on both counts. Striving to be “the best” (a rather subjective judgment call) is one reason so many people are unhappy ~ (1) they are lost in a forest of comparisons; and (2) they are forever striving for something more than they have but nothing is ever “enough” because they’re convinced that “the best is yet to come.”

Nancy T’s post title today: “Comparison is the Thief of Joy.” She could also have called it “J Lo’s Booty is The Best!” 😎

7. Jill Weatherholt - August 21, 2014

Oh man, Nancy, I’m depressed now…just kidding! 🙂 For me, the best is this moment because it’s all I’m guaranteed.
Wow! I had no idea you were such a fantastic artist! I don’t think I’ve seen any of your work before…very nice!

nrhatch - August 21, 2014

Sorry to get your day off on a depressing note. 😛

I concur about the NOW: “We are Here and it is Now. What else is there?”

And thanks! I shared a number of my paintings awhile back. I’m more of a Copy Cat Painter than a true artist but I do find it quite relaxing. I painted these “copies” in 1992 while taking a break from studying for the NJ Bar Exam.

Jill Weatherholt - August 21, 2014

I was just kidding about the depression. 🙂 You are very talented, Nancy.

nrhatch - August 21, 2014

I knew you were just jesting! And thanks!

8. William D'Andrea - August 21, 2014

As for me, I’m enjoying life more now, than I did when I was younger. The older I get, the more content I become.
As for that poster, I wonder if it reminds you of my novel “A Gatored Community”; to which you left feedback when it was a work in progress on webook.com. I also wonder, is the reality worse than was depicted in my now published fiction, which is available at http://www.kindlebooks.com?

nrhatch - August 21, 2014

Glad you’re enjoying life more than ever. For you, maybe the best really is yet to come.

9. In the Stillness of Willow Hill - August 21, 2014

I really love the wisdom in knowing that things don’t have to be “the best” in order to be “good enough”. Beyond the aging crown, I can think of many youngsters who could profit from this lesson!
We learn each and every day we live, regardless of circumstances. Bless you for bringing this topic to us today.

nrhatch - August 21, 2014

Thanks! Striving to be “the best” is exhausting. Being “good enough” allows us to enjoy the journey without obsessing about reaching the imaginary and subjective destination of being “the best.”

I’m not the best bowler, cook, artist, singer, dancer, walker, talker, reader, writer, but I’m good enough to enjoy the joy of the NOW as the path unfolds before me.

10. Grannymar - August 21, 2014

Nancy, I am not persuaded that the best is yet to come, either. Afrer all, none of us are promised tomorrow, so every new day is a bonus. I prefer to live in the moment and enjoy life’s little surprises. Life is good. Today!

nrhatch - August 21, 2014

You have always struck me has having a very workable philosophy of life, GM ~ it may not be “the best” philosophy but it’s good enough!

* I have always been delighted at the prospect of a new day, a fresh try, one more start, with perhaps a bit of magic waiting somewhere behind the morning. ~ J.B. Priestley

* Tomorrow’s life is too late. Live today. ~ Marcus Valerius Martialis

Grannymar - August 21, 2014

Nancy, I never heard the J.B. Priestley quote before, but I like it. I lived in a large family, with a father who had a very negative outlook on life. Always asking “Why does everything (bad) happen to me?”. He never lifted a finger in the house and when mammy was ill I was expected to take over! He did have health problems and forever told us he was on borrowed time – it lasted 24 years!

Then the magic happened I met and married the most positive man on this earth. He took all that life threw at him, got up, dressed up and showed up. He was badly injured in Burma during WW11. He lost two wives to long slow cancer, then he had the courage to marry me. Elly was the icing on his cake. When cancer invaded his body, he did not give up and never complained. I learned so much from that man, how can I not be positive?

nrhatch - August 21, 2014

I have heard that women marry men like their fathers. Glad you chose a different route. You husband was a DREAM come true, especially when compared with the antics of your dad.

While I don’t buy into “the best is yet to come” slogan, it’s preferably to the “poor poor pitiful me” chorus that some silly rabbits enjoy singing.

11. Judson - August 21, 2014

While I’m enjoying this life and I’m grateful to be participating, when it’s over I’m going to be really disappointed if this turns out to be all there is. Is the best yet to come? I really don’t know, but my belief system says yes, so I’m fully prepared to cross over and be thrilled!

nrhatch - August 21, 2014

I feel that way too, Judson. That there is something special just beyond the veil. And we get an enticing peek now and again.

Last night we watched “Heaven Is For Real.” While I can’t say that it encapsulated my beliefs on the “hereafter,” we enjoyed it.

12. Kathy @ SMART Living 365.com - August 21, 2014

I am a die-hard optimist so I see the silver lining in everything…but I agree with Pix Under the Oaks when she said that GOOD is still to come. I prefer to believe in the idea that good continues to unfold in spite of appearances (and yeah it does look otherwise in many cases!) Besides, I think we’ve all met people who are the exact opposite and I know who I want to hang out with as time goes by…

nrhatch - August 21, 2014

Yes! Here’s to being optimistic about the future being filled with GOOD . . . even if it’s not all THE BEST!

13. ericjbaker - August 22, 2014

See, what I don’t like is goofy terminology like “golden years” and other such things that oblige an old person to act like an old person and buy into some behavior system in which suddenly you play bingo on Thursdays and eat shitty pancakes at some night of the living dead diner down the street. Excuse my french/feel free to edit me, but fuck that! They’re going to be playing Metallica at my funeral, except that I’m not having a funeral because how boring and depressing is that? Just feed me to the lions and keep on having a good time with whatever you’ve got left. I’m still going to be eating real texas BBQ and watching trashy horror flicks and doing my best to make people laugh until the last minute. I’m going to art museums in a wheelchair if I have to, and I’m going to hammer away on the drums until arthritis won’t let me grip the sticks anymore.

Rock and roll, Nancy!

🙂

nrhatch - August 22, 2014

But what do you really think? 😎

I concur with your sentiments. Allowing others to define the parameters of our landscape makes no sense to me. We are NOT sheep and do not need to be herded.

You say Metallica, Texas BBQ, and trashy horror flicks . . . I’ll say Dave Matthews, pizza, and Sherlock Holmes.

BTW: Bingo is on Tuesdays at American Legion Post #24.

ericjbaker - August 22, 2014

Haha. I’m not sure what the local bingo day is here. I can do Dave Mathews, pizza, and Sherlock too!

See you in 30 years for a Sherlock marathon.

nrhatch - August 22, 2014

Deal! I’ll bring the pizza!

14. Behind the Story - August 22, 2014

These folk sayings that pretend to sum life up in a single sentence are annoying, especially when people post them on Facebook or bulletin boards or signs. Is this saying a reflection of our competitive attitude? Must we always compare people and things and even our days so we can decide which one is the “best?” As you and others have commented, each day, each moment has its blessing and pleasure. Enjoy.

nrhatch - August 22, 2014

Yes! The seasons of life all offer magical moments. For some, summer is “the best” (filled with beaches and boardwalks and bbq’s). Others prefer autumn, seeing it as a time of reflection.

The trick is to remain awake and aware to everything offered here and now so we don’t miss the moments of our lives.

15. Piglet in Portugal - August 22, 2014

Is the best yet to come? I suppose only if you believe in an afterlife with chocolates and champagne 🙂 Love the alligator sign

nrhatch - August 22, 2014

We watched Heaven Is For Real the other night. Trailer above at Comment 11. It’s based on a true story about a 4-year-old boy who had a near death experience.

16. Becky - August 22, 2014

You don’t know what’s around the corner, so it could be the best part or it could be meh or anywhere inbetween. I refuse to believe my best is behind me, at any rate.

nrhatch - August 22, 2014

Here’s to the infinite possibilities that await us around the next bend in the path . . .

17. Three Well Beings - August 23, 2014

I know from conversations with friends that so often we don’t define happiness or reference contentment the same way. It makes the discussion lively! I think the roller coaster you mention is the best way to define most lives. My life is made up of a long list of “best days” and fortunately not an abundance of “low lows,” but of course there are some seasons in life that were very sad. I suspect the future will be just the same. Some wonderful “highs,” but also the lows. What an interesting perspective, Nancy. You do get me thinking. 🙂

nrhatch - August 23, 2014

That’s it! If someone is in the driver’s seat and sings out with exuberance, “The Best Is Yet to Come.” That’s GREAT!

But so many of us are wandering around on auto-pilot, only half awake, repeating things we’ve heard others say . . . without really giving what we’re saying any thought. I don’t see how that benefits anyone.

Here’s to saying what we mean and meaning what we say!

18. jannatwrites - August 25, 2014

Thoughtful post. I made the mistake of watching news this weekend (visiting my parents, and my mom watches CNN a lot) and it makes me think that the best has already happened. In fact, what’s up ahead seems quite uncertain and often dismal. (Geez, I think I’m done with the news for another few weeks!)

nrhatch - August 25, 2014

Watching the news puts a damper on my day too, Janna. In fact, watching the news makes me see the truth behind the adage, “Ignorance is Bliss.” Most of the time it’s TMI! TMI!

19. latebloomerbuds - August 25, 2014

Oooo, loving your adorable illustrations Nancy!

nrhatch - August 25, 2014

Thanks, Margie. The boots you gave Pix were GREAT! Just the thing. I look forward to following your blog.


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