Life is not a guarantee. And, although that is surely not the way to start an "uplifting" article, proceed with it as my intro I will. Because, what is more inspiring and life prompting (shall we say), than a gentle (okay, not really) yet blunt reminder that our time -- that thing we always complain we have too much or too little of -- on this Earth is numbered and that the clock, well, it's ticking.
Listen, I get it.
I understand that most of us are NOT the type of people that like to think about our lives in terms of our days and moments being numbered.
But, as anyone who has ever experienced a loss -- the sudden kind or the more drawn-out -- will tell you, they are.
It's hard to live with this as your daily mindset and, admittedly, I am no stranger to the struggle that is making the most of your time in a way that both fulfills your soul and fills your wallet, and allows you the willingness and time to give and receive support, love, and time to those that mean the very most to you and the rest of humanity.
As a mother to three children under the age of 7, with a husband who feels immense stress from his job, with a house I can't seem to keep tidy, a gym routine, a podcast and a blog I'm trying to keep up with, and homeroom mom duties at my children's schools, I am regularly running out of fuel, patience, give a hoots, willpower, and the like.
And, when, on top of all of that, you are striving to operate through life in a joyful, optimistic and conscious/present state, that requires uber-awareness of self and perpetual regulation.
Which is also mentally, physically and emotionally draining.
So, let me ask you this:
What happens to a well when it's void of its contents?
People walk away from it.
Why? Because it no longer has what they need.
And then, well, the well itself feels useless because it no longer serves a higher purpose outside of itself sitting pretty somewhere.
Then you have this aged-well (that didn't age well), that nobody wants to visit or be around anymore, despite its innate beauty and unwavering ability to bring peace, and the well just kind of gets beat up as the time passes until it crumbles and is no more.
But, you are not the well in this story.
Did you think you were?
Well, you are not, and neither am I.
We are not the depressive-looking whithering well because we understand that life, a full tank, and a full well, is not a guarantee.
It has never been, and it never will be.
So, we have decided to resign ourselves to that fact and embrace the notion that the transitory nature of human existence is nothing short of a bomb-a** (and no, my descriptor word choice did not just ruin the whole article for you, but it did make me smile, so regardless it was worth it) nudge from whatever higher power you believe in to live life by this motto:
If our days are not promised, we must pledge ourselves to seize -- with every thankful yet exasperated breath we have -- every opportunity for compassion and joy while forgiving ourselves for being involuntarily indifferent to the gifts we were born with, cultivated, or even the ones we married or birthed.
No, life is not a guarantee, and my clock is ticking just as yours is.
But, there is one certainty I am aware of, and it's this:
That if the only guarantee in life is that one day it will end, then we must aim to be unapologetically relentless in our pursuit of the rapture of bliss that so tactfully hides itself it the everyday ordinary we have perplexingly nicknamed both "stress" and the "mundane" while exercising forgiveness towards ourselves for our darting, misplaced and ill-focused attention and our typical blinded-by-overwhelm-and-fatigue, thankless state of being.
More than feeling fearful of our uncertain timeframe, we must choose to allow the freedom of the unknown to prompt us to spend our minutes on this precious Earth accepting our endearingly-flawed selves (and others) while encouraging and applauding each of our individual and society-wide attempts for growth and improvement.
You're not the well, honey, and neither am I.
We are the f*ckin water and just like our dear friend H20, we are vital to this planet and the people roaming it, and our contributions will live far beyond our bodies, whether we are making them with a present heart or an occasionally preoccupied one.
Life is not a guarantee, but you can be darn sure that it's ephemeral nature is going to galvanize me to make the most of it, remind me to be lenient with myself when I don't and ultimately conclude that I'm doing the best that I can on any single day and that's pretty monumental.