I guess it’s the deaths of David Bowie and Alan Rickman—both 69—that’s got me feeling my own mortality. But to be honest, it’s been on my mind for awhile now. Not every day, in my face, but it’s hiding back there somewhere behind my temporal (tic toc) lobe and it likes to peek out from time to time and poke me a little too hard.
At 64, the clock seems to whir, but then I’ve heard its sound numerous times in my life. Narrow escapes that could have ended badly. Decisions I didn’t put any thought into that led to dangerous places. Watching people my age and younger lose their lives to illness or accident. Having survived a terrible car crash only days before my 21st birthday, I realized fairly young that time is a gift.
Yet knowing that, I have to admit I’ve squandered my fair share of it. I’ve dreamed too big and apparently unrealistically (and truthfully—I still do, but I like that about myself!). It’s too late for many of the things that I thought would happen in my life to happen. And yet when I sit back and take stock, I am grateful for the life I’ve lived.
While I may not have nailed as many ‘big’ things as I had planned on in my youth, I’ve done well with the little things. The daily things. The ‘get up and keep trying’ things. I’ve been good at loving others—family and friends. I excel at wishing the world well. And I hurt for those who need a hand up. It’s the small acts that define me. The hugs given, the encouraging words spoken. The positive thoughts and prayers extended to others and the world. And I’m okay with that.
I try to keep the ‘should-haves’ and ‘could-haves’ out of my inner conversations. And I’m getting pretty good at it. So this is me, doing what I love, yet still sometimes struggle, to do: write. Be in the moment. Express what it means to be me—at least for myself—and with the hope that when others read my work they might find some comfort. I guess the secret is—or so the sages all say: Cherish the moment. It may be all we have.
And as I look outside, in the still-dark morning, I proclaim that whatever today brings me will be quite enough.