There is the cliché, that money can be earned, but we cannot turn back time. I think most of us are aware of this, but we don’t really feel the actual impact of what it means until we experience some form of loss, or forced to deal with a deadline. Sometimes this deadline comes in the form of our own mortality.
For a long time I lived my life thinking that I had to do a million things in the event that I died the next day, only to find out much later in life that I didn’t really care about myself being dead, but it was the potential loss of other people or things that affected me more. Sometimes this loss doesn’t take in the form of death, but the disconnect in timelines – we find out that some things are no longer in place when we get there. Confluence, is something we don’t think much about when we plan our lives ahead.
A simple example: many of us work really hard so we can retire at some point, and we tell ourselves we can spend time with our loved ones then, or do the things we love. But we don’t think about – will we still be healthy, mobile and alive by then, or what or who we love will still be around for us?
“It turns out that when I graduated from high school, I had already used up 93% of my in-person parent time. I’m now enjoying the last 5% of that time. We’re in the tail end…Quality time matters. If you’re in your last 10% of time with someone you love, keep that fact in the front of your mind when you’re with them and treat that time as what it actually is: precious” – waitbutwhy
I am now 35, and I am already experiencing the effects of not being mindful of my health in the past two decades. I am grateful that I am constantly reminded of the preciousness of my health by my chronic conditions instead of something more sinister or final. I try not to take anything for granted, even this seemingly simple capacity to write this post. I have experienced migraines so debilitating that I can’t even open my eyes, much less type a sentence.
Why do I live, and how do I want to live? Each time I find myself swayed by the immense pressure of society, I can only hope that I find the capacity to raise this question to myself.
It turns out there is a profound confluence of factors that is required in order to have what seems like an ordinary life – just to be alive in safety, to spend time with people and doing things we love. As I age, it isn’t about chalking up milestones or doing groundbreaking work – all I want is simply time to take advantage of this precious confluence, hoping and praying that time will be on my side while I learn to be a person capable of love and aliveness.