Last week, I had one of those mortality-reinforcing events.
It wasn’t an unusual event. At the hospital, it was clear that this was an everyday happening for the staff. No big deal, in fact. For me, this was a forceful reminder that I am likely closer to the end than the beginning…not by a lot, mind you, but fundamentally, it seems pretty clear that I have more past than future. And as I thought of my wife, and my kids, the tears welled-up in my eyes. I could not leave them. But my body was in charge. My desires were subjugated to the autonomic reactions of cells.
But, I wasn’t going to die in the hospital. They were going to make me better and I was going to go home in a few days. Back to my wife and my kids. There is no greater gift than back.
A few days past the crisis, home again, back to work, back to shuffling the kids out the door, back to doing dishes and sweeping up, back to a world of laundry and tuck-ins, of baseball games and soccer games and car payments and whatever else with which we fill our days, I want to know why I am lucky enough to be back where I want to be. Why do I get more time? Why do I get more?
It doesn’t matter why I get more time. I have it.
I have work to do. Every day I need to remind my wife that she is the love of my life and that our love affair, though tempered in the quotidian of domesticity, is as grand and sweeping as any in the history of the world. And every day I need to make my kids understand that they are the most precious things ever created and that their lives are extraordinary and can only written by them. (Q,C,N, L & A – You are unique and powerful and supported with all that we can give to you. Make yourself proud.)
And I have work to do for me, too. Part of my view of the world is thinking about what’s next and the future and what is possible. I have allowed the abstraction of the future to take away from creating the now. I have 20, or 30, or 40 years left. The actual number doesn’t matter. What matters is that my days are finite. And wasting them imagining what can be rather than creating what will be is a crime. I have been guilty. But today, I speak to you with the zealotry of a convert. Time is ticking. The future is happening. I am building.
What are you doing to make today the way you want it to be?