I turned forty-nine this past week, and I have been meditating on this concept during this time. A few thoughts as I hopefully make another trip around the sun.
Growing up my parents always told me that the years go quickly. I never listened and understood, nor could I. This was at a time when as kids we would actually experience boredom during the summer school break. Can you imagine now having three months just to play? My parents were significantly older than any of my friend’s parents. My mother was 45 when I was born, so they certainly had a much clearer perspective on the precipitous nature of time as you age. Like many things they would say to me at that time which I thought were ludicrous turned out to be true. Given that I have created the habits of living ‘in the moment’ as best as I can it would seem that maybe the moment would not travel so quickly. Alas, it does not. Why that is I do not know. A year will pass in the snap of a finger.
What I now value most is time. Time is precious. We never know how much we may have. Every breath might be the last. Our culture places a high value on youth. I catch myself putting a great value on youth. Like everything else, youth is fleeting. I find it helpful and it gives me peace to contemplate the fleeting nature of all things. When you get trapped in compulsive negative thinking, you can escape it by realizing it won't last. Or as Eckert Tolle said many times in his book “The Power of Now,” “This too shall pass.”
Your Life Can Improve
As I write this I am in the best place mentally I have ever been at in my life. I live the majority of my days in peace. I haven’t had a bad day for about five years. There have been some unpleasant moments but no unpleasant days. We must remember that we are fortunate to be living where we are and to have had the many privileges that we do. If you are reading this, you should consider yourself fortunate. A significant portion of the population in the world do not have smartphones or tablets and laptops. I saw a Ted presentation recently which discussed the fact that many live on less than a dollar a day.
My point is that things can get better for you if you are in a difficult place. The first step is to believe and convince yourself that you can. Once you believe your mind and subconscious mind will assist you. As Lao Tzu said “The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step,” that one step is to start believing that things can improve.