The other morning at 2 am my body was thrust upright, like a Zombie woken from a deathly sleep.
Arms flung forward, voice screeching like a Banshee… ‘38!’
Needless to say I was momentarily dazed, distressed, somewhat stiff. What the heck was that all about!
My mind was awash with thoughts and visions all shuffling about like a stray deck of cards thrust into the air.
Once I calmed myself down and realised the Apocalypse was over, I began to order the cards and find some reasoning behind this Zombie-like episode.
I confessed to myself that it was no doubt a reaction to my all consuming thoughts of late. You know, those thoughts about all the things you still have yet to do with your life; the dreams yet unfulfilled.
And Time, ever pressing us on.
Hang on… wasn’t it only yesterday I was 28… living a different life, and still thinking about all the things I’d like to do and be?
How did 10 years effectively melt into my memory like that? And why does the thought of this scare the living daylights out of me?
Time wields this power over us all, this is true. None of us are immune to its force. It’s an innate part of our lives and propels us forward in motion, regardless of our preparedness.
So why can’t I accept this? Why is there this driving urge to fight against time, to stem its flow?
The Zombie Apocalyptic episode was a reminder that I’m not winning any battles on this front.
The burning desires we have to do more with our life, in the time we have, constantly batter away at us.
That novel I’d really like to try writing, the on-line course I hope to complete, those days I need to find to simply ‘play’ with my kids, the shelved business idea I’d really like to explore, that trip abroad, the need to sort out once-and-for-all, those irrational fears that follow me around.
Like a drug, life always seems so ripe for the picking. There’s a virtual bounty of opportunities on offer out there, everyday and the sense of urgency to grab on to them, ever present.
If only Time would just damn well stop for a couple of days…. weeks… (ok a year at least), maybe I’d feel more at ease.
More in control.
Of course that’s what it’s really about. I am fearful of Time. It is so precious, constant and yet not.
We assume there is so much of it and yet, we can not possibly control how much we are entitled to.
I like to think that I am in control of my life, but deep down, it’s Time that is our measure of existence.
Our momentary existence at that.
“To realize that you’ve lived a certain number of hours and the hours ahead of you are not guaranteed as the ones you have lived. When I think of this I realize that everyday truly is an opportunity to improve, not in a cliché kind of way, but to learn to honestly appreciate what we are capable of achieving and how we are very responsible for the quality of our lives.” Paul Jun
It’s not just me
The Stoic Roman General, Marcus Aurelius must have experienced similar Zombie-like episodes.
He wrote in his now famous journal ‘Meditations’ to “Stop wandering about!… Get busy with life’s purpose, toss aside empty hopes, get active in your own rescue – if you care for yourself at all- and do it while you can”.
Zombie-like episode aside, I’m beginning to appreciate this obstacle that Time poses for me.
The dream to live a life that matters, that has purpose and meaning, is rooted within us all. This is good.
Maybe we just need to appreciate that Time is in control and that some of what we ‘wish’ or want for, is exactly that.
We can’t do it all and trying to only makes us miserable (or keeps us up at night). We have ultimately to limit ourselves to the present and be content in knowing we at least have control over that.