Posted by: Brad Stanford | February 4, 2015

I Deleted A Bookmark

Moments ago, I sat down with a old computer that I hardly use anymore. For years it was my workhorse, but now the machine is too behind the times to do the work I’m doing now. But, I only needed a browser and a keyboard on the road, so I grabbed it and left.

Upon opening the browser, I saw the one bookmark that still remained in the bookmarks bar. I had seen it before, when I had opened this computer a few months back, but I wasn’t in a maintenance mood, and moved onto whatever it was I wanted to do.

But tonight…

Tonight it was out of place. Like the laptop itself, the bookmark was from ages past. It was from a security login system that I used on a daily basis a few years ago. It hadn’t been needed since that job ended, but that job represented one of the greatest advancements of my career.

But it was no longer necessary.

But it was a good memory.

But it was no longer necessary.

But it represents in a tiny way a piece of my past.

But it was no longer necessary.

But it’s just a bookmark! Why not leave it on this machine that you rarely use just as an easter egg now and again?

But it needs to move.

No.

I need to go through the act of moving it.

Everything in this world goes away. Every dynasty, every currency, every scrap of food, every place, every person. If it’s made of stuff, it will go away.

The difference between happiness and joy is the difference between a tourist swimmer and a surfer. A tourist swimmer will wade out as far as they dare in the ocean and play in the water as one wave after another crashes on top of them. eventually they tire from fighting the current, or the waves, or the cold, or whatever. Or maybe they just have something else they want to get done.

For them, that’s enough. They’re happy to play in the water, and check it off the vacation list.

A surfer, on the other hand, swims out to the right place and rides the waves as long as he can. He doesn’t have anything else to do other than ride the waves. He didn’t come to check it off the to do list, he came because of  – and for – surfing.

The waves go away. But the joy stays. He rode the ride until the sun went down and feels full because of it.

Waves come and go. That bookmark represents a wave that was fantastic to ride. It led to better ones, too, and more skills to enjoy the next waves with.

The art of clearing my mind of past circumstances and events allow me to focus on the current ones, and the approaching ones, in that order.

Admittedly, I’ve always been one to try and outrun my past. It’s easier for me to talk about letting go of things. But in moments like tonight, I find that I still have that blubbery human connection to memories and objects. And that’s good.

But the older I get, the more I surf. The more I’m reminded that everything is fleeting. And while that might be sad sometimes, the truth is that it has helped me live more deeply in each moment that I have. Rather than trying to hold onto waves, I try and ride them, swimming away with a smile, with thankfulness, and with hope, always looking for the next ride.

If you’re tired of being hit in the face by waves, get a surfboard.

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