“How do you measure, measure a year?
In daylights, in sunsets
In midnights, in cups of coffee
In inches, in miles, in laughter, in strife
In five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes
How do you measure, a year in the life?”
-From “Rent”, by Jonathan Larson
I love theater for about five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred reasons. The one I like best comes down to this rule about being an observer. The rule is this: Suspend your disbelief. When you are observing a play, you must suspend your disbelief for a variety of reasons. It allows the observer to become fully immersed in the scene, to connect better to the characters, to flow with the play and allow it to change you, to alter your perspective, and shift your reality as you know it.
Of course, there are many other ways to enjoy and appreciate good theater without suspending your disbelief. You could appreciate good acting, admire the set and wardrobe, consider how many hours, how much human power went into the production, and all the background detail that it took to produce the finished product.
Both are excellent ways to enjoy the spectacle. On one hand, you are appreciating the fundamentals, the bricks and mortar, for what they are. On the other hand, you’re captivated by the finished product, allowing the magic of life to wash over you, suspending your disbelief.
It is the magic that I want to draw your attention to. That fantastic finished product. What the observer sees, and what happens behind the scenes to create that observation is two very different things.
We are all creators and observers in our own lives. Where were you one year ago? How has your life changed in a year? Every time I ask myself this question, the answer remains the same, immeasurably. Sure, I could tell you how my kids have grown, how I learned to cope through this and that, or how I learned new ways to love others. When it comes down to it, Jonathan Larson is right, the only way to measure time is in love.
How much did you love the behind the scenes that it took to create that perfect social media post, how much did you love the behind the scenes of potty training, or that kick-ass kitchen reno you did? What about the tough stuff? How did you learn to love your ex after splitting up? Was it worth all the extra you might have added to it? We’re you able to see yourself better? How did you show up for yourself and learn to love yourself a little better? It’s fucking awesome that you got sober. I hope you all learned to love that past self that we’re all so inclined to cringe at. I hope you love every minute of learning you did. The clock is ticking. Five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes a year. You have a choice every single minute of it. A year really can do so much.
Above all, I hope you learn to suspend your disbelief in your own life. Become fully immersed in each moment. I hope you know you deserve to love yourself and be happy with who you are, and that every version of yourself you’ve been before is worthy of love. Suspend your disbelief and create magic in your own life. Yes, it’s a fuck of a lot of hard work, but last I checked it is very, very worth it. Every. Single. Time.