In 1880, Theodore Roosevelt wrote to his brother, “My happiness is so great that it makes me almost afraid.” In October of that year, life got even better.
As he wrote in his diary the night of his wedding to Alice Hathaway Lee, “Our intense happiness is too sacred to be written about.”
He would consider it to be one of the best years of his life: he got married, wrote a book, attended law school, and won his first election for public office.
The streak continued. In 1883, he wrote “I can imagine nothing more happy in life than an evening spent in the cozy little sitting room, before a bright fire of soft coal, my books all around me, and playing backgammon with my own dainty mistress.”
And that’s how he and Alice spent that cold winter as it crawled into the new year.
He wrote in late January that he felt he was fully coming into his own. “I feel now as though I have the reins in my hand.” On February 12th, 1884 his first daughter was born.
Two days later, his wife would be dead of Bright’s disease (now known as kidney failure). His mother had died only hours earlier in the same house, of typhoid fever.
Roosevelt marked the day in his diary with a large “X.” Next to it, he wrote, “The light has gone out of my life.”
As they say, life comes at you fast.
Have the last few weeks not been an example of that?
In December, the Dow was at 28,701.66. Things were good enough that people were complaining about the “war on Christmas” and debating the skin color of Santa Claus.
In January, the Dow was at 29,348.10 and people were outraged about the recent Oscar nominations.
In February, when the Dow reached a staggering 29,568.57, Delta Airlines stock fell nearly 25% in less than a week, as people argued intensely over a message from Delta’s CEO about passengers reclining their seats.
Even in early March, there were news stories about Wendy’s entering the “breakfast wars” and a free stock-trading app outage that caused people to miss a big market rally.
And that was just in the news.
Think about what you busied yourself with at home during that same period.
Maybe you and your wife were looking at plans to remodel your kitchen. Maybe you were finally going to pull the trigger on that Tesla Model S for yourself—the $150,000 one, with the ludicrous speed package.
Maybe you were fuming that Amazon took an extra day to deliver a package. Maybe you were frustrated that your kid’s room was a mess.
And now? How quaint and stupid does that all seem?
Depending on the day you look, years of market gains have now been taken back. 47 million people are projected to be added to the unemployment rolls in the US.
The death count from what was dismissed as a mere respiratory flu and the left’s latest hoax is now inching towards 170,000 and there are millions more confirmed cases worldwide.
There have been runs on supplies. Hospitals are maxing out ventilators. The global economy has essentially ground to a halt.
Life comes at us fast, don’t it?
It can change in an instant. Everything you built, everyone you hold dear, can be taken from you. For absolutely no reason. Just as easily, you can be taken from them.
*Featured post photo by chuttersnap on Unsplash