Tomorrow Is Not Guaranteed. Live Today
I was away on a work trip and I got back to the office and saw that one of my colleagues was missing. I asked, did she take the day off? Another colleague looked at me, searching my face…don’t you know? No, I didn’t. It sounded ominous. It was. Her daughter died last Thursday. She was 32. I got another email this week. I’m sorry to be the bearer of bad news. He passed away in his sleep last night. Another work colleague.
Ordinarily, I would reason that death is a part of life. It happens. Make peace with the fact that some people you know won’t be around one day. It makes sense when I was younger and I looked at my grandparents. That’s what usually happens. You outlive them. Your parents outlive them, right?
My grandfather lived to be 100. Before he died, he buried his wife and 2 sons, one of whom was my father. It should be no surprise. Death is a part of life. Memento Mori — remember you must die. That’s right. That’s cool. I know it, you don’t have to remind me. It still comes as a shock, every time. Maybe it’s just me, but you think people will be around forever. You think you will.
Do you think about your own mortality? My mother told me that I was born prematurely. I had to stay in hospital for a few weeks until I got to the required weight. Knowing now that things could so easily have been different I believe that it’s a miracle that I am alive, that I’m here today. That I made it to 44. We take it for granted. I remind myself every day not to.
Living every day is a miracle. It is indeed. We get caught up in our daily routine. The days pass us by. We live for Fridays. We live for one day when things will get better. When that one day is finally here, you realise that you wasted all of your life looking forward to one day. For some people that one day never comes.
There is such a rush and constant reminder that you must make it. Other people on social media constantly remind you that you’re not there yet when you look at their stories. They seem to have to have it all figured out. The pressure is never-ending. No wonder so many of us are dealing with depression, anxiety and other mental issues. It’s insane.
We can do one thing though. We can switch off the noise. Once you realise that whatever you aim for in your life and whatever you have achieved so far has nothing to do with wherever someone else is. Life is not a competition. A few people have realised this and they are getting out of the rat race. You should too. It’s not your race. Make your journey private, individual, unposted and unstoried. You will realise how satisfying this is. To wake up and do what you want to do, then do it and nobody has to know.
Great lives are lived without being broadcasted. I have taken an interest in people. Whenever I meet someone new, they tell me about their story and personal journey. It fascinates me. People are fascinating. All you have to do is slow down, sit and listen. It doesn’t have to be an Instagram story, because those are only the highlights.
When someone starts telling you about everything, the dark and ugly parts too, you realise we are all the same. Even though our circumstances are different one has a desire to make it. If you have the opportunity, encourage them, cheer them on. If one person succeeds, it elevates the whole group.
Let’s continue to encourage each other. We will all make it.