-Bobbi Lu –
-Susie Q. –
I keep thinking this thought over and over as I go about my day . . . “We all die.” It’s not an epiphany. It’s not thought morbidly, or with some profound secret insight. It is thought . . . just as is – but it won’t go away. And I keep looking back at it and wondering why this simple, obvious, everyone-knows-it, no-life-altering-info-here thought is dogging my heels.
We. All. Die. And that “all” part – that is what is really sticking out. I mean, the “die” thing is just obtusely present and so I might as well skip that part. But I notice in particular that it happens to all of us – so, what the heck? I guess, I mean, why do I even waste, or why have I wasted, any time trying to . . . I don’t know . . . not live?! And by that, I think maybe I mean all the head-space moments I’ve spent worrying, and all the rat-race time we all spend keeping up with the “Jones’s” (ironically, this is one of our family names).
So . . . we all die . . . but I better take some god-damned time to live then! Gesh – it’s not as if Mel Gibson’s ever-awesome William Wallace didn’t already tell us this, right?! “Every man dies. Not every man . . .” You get the point (and if you can’t finish this quote – perhaps you either need to utilize that ever present search engine sitting by you in the guise of a phone, or stop reading this blog as you and I are not compatible).
Time to be living, man!
At some point this realization hits us. Sometimes that happens after the loss of a friend or family member. Sometimes this just creeps up and smacks you between the eyes. You’re driving down the road and all of the sudden, you realize you could die.
Life is short, our time is limited.
Perhaps the thing to do when you experience momento mori is consider how to live. That’s what I have been doing anyway. I’ve asked myself what ways I have been postponing living. Where am I applying the brakes? Is that necessary? Then, I started to tune into what excuses I use to justify saying “no.” Which brings me to the question, am I saying yes to the right things? I go through phases, I say yes to everything, get exhausted and then say no to everything. I find the balance and then get out of whack. I am learning my habitual responses. Generally, I say no when I’m scared of the emotional commitment or when I can see failure or success as flashy outcomes. I also go with the standby excuse of no money or no time. What is with that? Did I forget that life is precious? That I have to get out and live it? That life could literally be up at anytime?
Now, am I going to turn around tomorrow and get reckless? No. But I am going to pay attention and see where I am applying the brakes. I am considering what is making me uncomfortable and resistant and I am leaning in. I am going to make an effort to embrace those challenges. I want to live a life that feels full and that starts with embracing new things, people, opportunities. I am afraid that time will pass and I will have spent so much of it bottled up that I failed to ever brush against my real potential. I’m also scared of all that that could bring, but I recognize that living life in some weird existential fear cyclone is not going to help me honor the life that I am living.
Other questions I am using to spur change in my attitude toward living life (and, that I am too lazy to write on at this moment):
Can I turn thinking about death into a catalyst for living life?
Can I shift my perspective?
Am I living with urgency?
Am I living with purpose?
Am I prioritizing the things that make me feel like I am thriving?