There is something special about the second half of any activity, whether this activity lasts an hour, a day, a week or many years. It’s special in three aspects.
The first aspect is the concept of time itself. There is something about the latter half of a holiday. For some reason, it really seems to fly by, much faster than the first half.
And I remember my time in high school where the first two years dragged, the middle year limped, but the final two seemed to sprint.
The second aspect is around familiarity. Take the theater for example: in the first half of a play, we figure out the actors, their personalities, the context, the plot. As we become more knowledgeable about the narrative, we engage more deeply with the experience. That new way of engaging accelerates the passage of the rest of the play.
The third aspect is perspective. I love watching NFL football even if, and probably because I don’t really have a favorite team. I use the first half of any game to figure out the players, to determine who’s playing well and who’s struggling. In the second half, I pick my team. I love to pick the underdog and then root for them. It’s rewarding for me to see the underdog come from behind, pull off a last-minute victory and celebrate like crazy.
Of course, it would be great if we could fully appreciate the first half of everything, live the moment, and enjoy all of it from the very beginning. Yes, sometimes I would love to “graft” my experiences onto my children so that they could skip the learning and go right into the enjoying. But that would rob them of of Life’s most valuable lesson: the familiarity and perspective that comes with making it through the first half. It’s called wisdom or maturity. It’s the reward for the actions that set us up for success in the second half. That’s why I’m really enjoying it. I just wish it wouldn’t go by so fast.