As we prepare for Saint Patrick's Day, I'd like to share one of my favorite jokes with you:
A philosophy professor set an empty jar on his desk in front of the class.
He proceeded to take a few large rocks and put them in the jar until they reached the top.
He asked the class, "Is this jar full?" The class all agreed, the jar was full.
Then he poured in some small stones. Again, he kept putting them in until they reached the top of the jar.
He asked the class again, "Is this jar full?" The class all agreed, the jar was full.
Then he took some sand and carefully poured it in and shook it up until the sand had filled in all the spaces between the rocks and the stones.
He asked the class a final time, "Is this jar full?" The class all agreed, the jar was full.
He explained, "This jar is like your life. The large rocks are the most important things in your life, like your job and your family. You can fill up your life with just those. The small stones are like your dear friends; they, too, can fill up your life. The sand is like your hobbies and other interests; they will also fill up your life."
He asked, "So, class, what lesson did you learn?" One student raised his hand, and the professor called on him. The student came to the front of the class, pulled a beer out of his pocket, and poured it into the jar. Then he exclaimed, "There's always room for beer!"
The jar, like our lives, is always full. All that matters is how we fill it. If we filled it with beer or sand first, there will be no room for stones or rocks. On the Long Ascent we need to make sure we make room for what is most important to us first.