It is true that I have been a little remiss of late with my posts. I have not stopped writing in general, but rather have been instead actively engaged in professional writing in a work context. I have been busy with new challenges.
There is only finite time to pursue all your interests. I remember being told once, that every time that you agreed to undertake something, in the same breath you were agreeing to give up another undertaking.
My reaction was one of adolescent annoyance, so I simply dismissed this in the same vein as ‘swimming on a full stomach’. I later discovered that Mum’s famous roast chicken dinner and 20 laps of the local 50 metre swimming pool, were diametrically opposed.
Why can’t you have it all? Wasn’t that what was promised? Didn’t the trashy paperback novels of my youth promise a knight in shining amour in a range of settings? Didn’t I hear Germaine say I could burn my bra, juggle my children in one hand and head up a corporate conglomerate, if I wanted to? No-one talked about the “exchange” at that time. We were encouraged to expect it all and then demand it.
These days most of us, in first world countries are connected to all the possibilities. It is no longer an issue to contemplate options, for they flash before our eyes or are drilled in into our ears by the gurus of marketing spin. I ply my trade alongside them, so I while I may know the mechanism behind the turning dial, it is but a simple clock face on the surface, with the objective to mark time.
The exchange however is real. Only time is infinite. Your time is not. You learn this lesson abruptly through the experience of cancer or any life-threatening illness. It is however, too easy to slip back into the illusion that you have all the ‘time in the world’, for this may not be so indeed.
Why are we shocked when someone dies suddenly without reason? Why have they simply gone? It is because they have left our lives, without the indignity of a protracted illness? Is it because even when they are in shadowlands of coma, we can chose to let them go? Why did they leave without saying goodbye? Don’t we do that every time we say it?
Surviving a life-threatening illness like cancer, or living with a life-altering condition like MS, can bring a clarity to your life which is reflected in your unwillingness to waste time, as you define it.
We are often encouraged to move forward, to live in the present moment and to not look back in anger. It is wise to consider this as the exchange for moving forward and to use the time that you have left in the pursuit of that which brings meaning or happiness.
Would you trade your minutes of now for time wasted reliving the memories of past regrets?