“It feels like being in a tunnel, and you can’t see the light. All you can do is have faith that it will come, and keep moving forward, groping in the dark.”
My company’s CEO Robert introduced me to the idea of the Infinite Game, endeavors with no clear winners, no end in sight, that can seem to go on forever and never give back recognition and reward. But that is no reason to not play. In fact, most worthwhile things in life are infinite games: raising a child, living a marriage, running a company.
Earlier this year I developed a sciatic pain in my lower back, which then went to the hip, the thigh, the calf, the foot. As it grew and changed and evolved, and every therapist and doctor and healer gave it their best but could not offer a solution, I wondered if I would ever recover. I told my father how this was an unusually long ailment, how most things I have usually heal in a couple weeks, a month at most. He told me about the time his knee hurt for four years, while walking, every time he had to kick the scooter, and then eventually it fixed itself. Four years! He couldn’t’ve known that it would fix eventually. Perhaps he had faith, belief, even confidence. But not knowledge. He gave me the same advice, that I could go to every massuesse, chiropractor, and physical therapist, for months on end, and at great expense, and eventually I’ll find somethat that helps and I’ll be okay. Or I can just do nothing, and live my life, and eventually I’ll be okay. When everyone I saw either had no effect or made things worse, I stopped seeking out more help, and just grew to accept my condition. Thankfully, I could tell that it was improving, if slowly, and today I am almost entirely healed. Still cannot walk as quickly or gracefully or thoughtlessly as before, but have no more pain or weakness or numbness. And hopefully I’ll continue to strengthen and improve. This is a journey whose end I couldn’t see, but seems to be arriving.
More recently I discovered that I have a fractured tooth. Have had one for a while, but it was too slight to be caught in X-Rays and CT Scans, so I just lived with the slight discomfort. Until one day when I bit in to Domino’s Pizza of all things, and really aggrevated it. I was in New York and had to find an emergency dentist appointment, who finally identified it and recommended I get it crowned. I came back to Philadelphia, and 4-5 appointments later it was. Yet today, I still have pain and sensitivity, and may have to go back, get the crown removed, and have the tooth taken out entirely. Will that stop the pain? I don’t know. Will I ever be able to chew normally again? I don’t know. This is a journey whose end I cannot see, but one day will arrive.
All journeys come to an end, even if you cannot see them. And whent they do, be it sudden or slow, bitter or sweet, or somewhere in between, it is not the end that is satisfying, but the entire journey. Every single minute of it.
The fact that it will end can be worrying, and take you out of the moment. It can be calming, and make you appreciate the moment even more. It can be inspiring, urging to make the most of this moment.
The time for boldness is now. The time for action is now. The time to lead, to follow, to see, to go out there and do it, to live free and full and joyous and wild, is now. If not now, when? If not us, who? For all the endless journeys we’re on, none of them are truly endless. Before it ends, take it all in. There will never be another day like today, for better or worse.
A journey ends today. A new one begins tomorrow.