Every day we take a step closer to our (physical) death. Not that most of us know when that will happen so we have no idea how many steps we have left. I don’t mean this to sound macabre or maudlin. This thought bubbled up in my consciousness the other morning – I liken it to that slow, viscous liquid that bubbles up in a lava lamp – and if this is the truth, then why are we not living each day to the fullest? Surely that one single thought, each day I move closer to death (or, if you want to look at it another way: This is the youngest I will ever be) should galvanize us into living the best life possible? And yet for many it doesn’t. So many days wasted on living in the past, stressing about the future. Reliving past hurts or regrets. Endlessly replaying painful events, conversations. Stuck in the “what ifs?” and the “if only”. I find it fascinating that the one truth, that we all, someday, will die, is something so many of us choose to ignore. I’m not saying think about death every day, although we are endlessly reminded about it by the media and the society we live in. What I am saying is that if we are mindful that we only have a certain (unknown) number of steps, should we not then be making the most of each precious moment? This game called life has an ending. Have you ever stopped to reflect on how you are playing it? Are you happy with your performance? Did you drop the ball and are now wondering how the hell you can pick it up again? Do you even like the game you are playing? Or are you not even playing, just sitting on the bench watching it happen around you, wondering when your turn is coming? Does life seem to rush at you from so many angles, you have completely forgotten you are even in the game? Are you an active participant or a passive bystander?
It was quite a profound thought and I’m still sitting with it, letting its meaning seep into my awareness, pondering my own performance in this game. For a game it is, one we chose to participate in. Maybe it’s time to take a breather and reflect on how it’s going. Because at the end of the day, we are the only one who can change our performance.