I listened to a story today about a man that lost his girlfriend to cystic fibrosis. It was a touching story and one that forces you in to awareness. The awareness that we think we always have more time. More time to do the things we always wanted. To travel, to write a book, to start a business, to pursue our passions. More time with the ones we love. So with all this time we do the things to responsibly plan for the time when we will have more space to enjoy our lives. We work hard, we save for retirement, we pay our bills and spend a lot of energy on things and people that don’t bring us joy. We then complain about the lack of time in our day and week because we have filled it with all this busyness.
Maybe its time to face our mortality. Most of us have lost a loved one, faced an illness, or even had a near death experience. In these moments we are shocked into a sober understanding of how precious time is. By then its too late and we are filled with regrets. So how do we avoid that regret?
Do the things that are most important to you as often as you can, as soon as you can. If you want to know whats really important to you each week at the beginning ask yourself the question “What would I do if this was my last?” I can almost guarantee no one would say, go work at a desk job for 8+ hours, go home, make dinner, watch TV and go to bed. Your mind might ponder your loved ones and having some quality time with the, it might think about something left unsaid in a relationship that you need to get closure on, it might be time writing or being creative as part of what you leave behind or as quiet reflection, or it could be time praying and meditating to connect with spirit. It might be getting on a plane and finally taking that trip you always wanted to, or spending time dancing or ice skating or coloring like you did as a kid that brought you so much joy and let you leave the rest of the worries of the world behind.
The other exercise to center you on how you are spending your precious time is write down what you want your tombstone to say. Most of us want it to reflect the type of person we would like to be, but are you being that person? Are you prioritizing those characteristics and values in your life?
Bottom line is, don’t worry about not having time, because you can’t control it. Just live for today, and even though we may manage our responsibilities, we can make sure and prioritize what really matters to us the most, mindfully and with gratitude for what it brings to our lives. You do have time, and that time is now.
I had a day like any other
Until I knew it’d be my last
And the change that I had waited for
Would never come to pass
The ways that I postponed my dreams
For another time and place
Suddenly were stripped away
With mortality to face
So the day did come and I was left
With one more day to live
So I took each hour and made a pact
To give all I could give
I gave my love, I gave time
I gave my heart, I gave my mind
I forgave them and myself as well
I gave a wish that all be well.