Shooting Stars

A few months ago I had one of those websurfing days where one link led me to another led me to another. I mean, I have those days all the time, but I'm telling you about this one particular time when a friend's Facebook page linked to a memorial page for one of her high school teachers. Something made me click it, which led me to a speech given at SUNY Potsdam by this teacher, Kathleen Sipher. I never knew her, but the text of that speech has stayed with me. You can read the whole thing, entitled A Survivor's Story, here (I recommend it, for sure).

The following bit in particular has popped into my head more than once recently, when I've had to make similar choices (and don't we all, everyday?):

"My husband is a morning person – he gets up promptly every day at 4 am. No alarm clock, no struggle to wake up. I’m definitely not a morning person – I was voted off the breakfast table by my family long before the show Survivor. Anyway, this morning at 4:30, my husband woke me up to tell me about this great meteor show going on. He said he’d seen dozens of meteors and did I want to get up and see it? Well, that bed was so warm and cozy and I was so happily sleeping that I told him to go watch it and tell me about it later. So he went away and I tried to go back to sleep. Then it hit me. I had to pee! Damn! I tried to put it off, to ignore it, but I finally just had to get out of bed to go to the bathroom. And while I was up, I looked out the picture window and saw him sitting in the hot tub and I then I noticed several shooting stars. So, I just gave in, put on my suit, and ran out in the 20-degree cold air to jump into the hot tub. We sat back in the warm water and counted the shooting stars we saw – in 45 minutes we saw over 500. It was absolutely awesome – better than the 4th of July.

So I guess the lesson from this little story is again that you shouldn’t give up happiness for pleasure. Being in that bed was so warm and pleasurable. And I almost gave in to it. But I would have missed an opportunity that is once in a lifetime."

-Kathleen Sipher