“The secret of life is enjoying the passage of time” sang James Taylor ages ago (1977 according to Wikipedia). I couldn’t agree more. I have written about this over and over again, but I really do think a lot of people walk around ignoring that time is our most precious resource.
I think I have told you before but I have always had a strange relation with death, as in, I was always quite aware of it, and therefore never wanted to waste any second on this glorious planet. This doesn’t mean I only do meaningful things, no, I absolutely love watching TV, movies and films (sometimes the sillier the better), being silly, doing nothing at all, as long as it was my decision what to do with my time and I am happy with it.
Regardless of what we chose to do with our own time, I just think it’s important we have the awareness that it’s a blessing, that it’s limited.
Gosh, sounds quite harsh. I am not trying to bring everyone down with depression, especially not on a Monday; it’s actually quite the opposite.
See, people always ask me how come I am so happy or bubbly. Well, first of all let me start by saying that I am not like that all the time, I can get pretty cranky, upset, sad, just as anyone else. But it is true that in general I am quite a happy individual. I don’t know or own the secret of happiness, and I don’t believe there’s just one; I think it will differ from person to person. But I will tell you this: being grateful for the good things, and most of all aware that we are only here for a short ride, makes you appreciate things in life even more.
Buddhists see death as part of the natural process of birth, old-age and death and believe we should always keep in mind how ephemeral life is. Buddhism has different interpretations in different places, but they all seem to agree that having a ‘positive and compassionate outlook of life, always being aware of the impermanence of life and having a loving attitude towards all living things in this transient existence we will be free of fear’.
Unfortunately, most people will only remember this when it’s too late. I have been reading an incredible book, ‘The top five regrets of the dying’ (promise to write a full post about it) written by a former palliative carer, and it’s quite moving to find out how many people only acknowledge that time is limited, once they are dying. This is quite sad, because in the end it leads to regrets for things left undone. When we are young we can carry a certain arrogance in believing we have all the time in the world, when in fact we can never know for sure.
I am not presuming to be a far more illuminated soul than anyone else. I am, as I said many times on the blog, on a learning path, trying to understand what it really is that makes me fulfilled, precisely so I have no regrets later, and the path often crosses the importance of celebrating life. Nevertheless the fact is that even as a child I was very aware of this limited time frame we have. I know it’s probably super weird for a child (imagine how I felt), and that’s probably why I didn’t share it that much with anyone, but I even remember going to bed with this restless worry that I wouldn’t have enough time to enjoy all the things in the world. And I would wake up with an immense thirst to live, which at that age meant watching cartoons till noon. Nonetheless, as I said before it’s up to each of us to decide what to do with our time, but I really do believe it’s important to be aware of the passing of time. After all it is part of life, and to deny it can only (in my view) cause distress.
I don’t know, maybe I am wrong. Maybe most people would rather live their lives without thinking too much about it. But the fact is the more I read this book, the more I fear people only wake up when it’s too late.
So I guess what I am trying to do, is to be a wakeup call. Don’t suddenly go mental and drop all at once; everything in life should be about balance. But do consider:
– What are the things that truly make you happy?
– Do you dedicate time to do it?
– Are you spending enough time with the ones you love?
– Do you always say the things you want to or do you leave it unsaid?
– Are you living the life you wanted?
– Do you often get to do the things you actually like doing?
You can ask yourself endless questions, but I guess one of the most important questions is ‘are you enjoying the passing of time?’ Are you fully embracing it and soaking it every second of it? Because it is passing. And maybe it’s just me, but the older we get the faster it seems to go. So don’t waste any minute of it.
Go live your life!