Life is short. We seem to think that we’ll live forever. We spend time and money as though we’ll always be here. We buy shiny things as though they matter and are worth the debt and stress of attachment. We put off the so-called “trip of a lifetime” for another year, because we all assume we have another year. We don’t tell the ones we love how much we love them often enough because we assume there’s always tomorrow.
And we fear. Oh, do we fear. We stick it out in miserable jobs and situations because we’re afraid of the risk of stepping out. We don’t reach high enough or far enough because we’re worried we’ll fail, forgetting – or never realizing – that it’s better to fail spectacularly while reaching for the stars than it is to succeed at something we never really wanted in the first place.
We think we’ve got forever and that these concerns that weigh us down are so pressing. We worry about the trivial to the neglect of the most precious thing we have: moments we’ll never see again. We talk of killing time, passing time, and getting through the week, forgetting we’re wishing away the moments that comprise our lives. We say time is money when in fact the time we have is ALL we have. Money can be borrowed, time can’t.
We fear taking risks, unaware that the biggest risk we run in playing it safe is in fact living as long as we hope and never doing the things we dreamed of. And then it’s too late. We watched our favorite TV shows, we fought a losing battle with our weight, we picked up the guitar once in a while and never quite finished the french language courses we wanted to do. We managed to get a large flat screen and new cars once in a while, but the list of things we’d have done if we could really, truly could have done anything, kept growing. And we never did them.
Life is not only short, it is also sometimes profoundly hard. But I think sometimes our reasons are in fact only excuses. If that’s the case, take stock. No one is going to live my life on my behalf. At some point my candle will burn out; I want it to burn hot and bright while it’s still lit. I want it to light fires and set others ablaze.
Life is short. Live it now. And live it with all your strength and passion now. Don’t keep it in reserve against a day you might not have. While the ember is still lit, fan it to flame. Be bold about it, even if your circumstances mean all you have is to love boldly and laugh boldly.
Because now is all we have, and our dreams won’t chase themselves.