I recently joined a writing group, I think I’m going to start sharing some of the essays I write for the group here. To be honest I haven’t written in the group in about a month. I’m doing OK, but definitely getting more tired more easily, and losing my focus at the end of the day! Anyway, I was looking over some of the essays I wrote in the group, and really like them and want to share. The topic of this essay is:
Time is Fleeting
Over the last few years several things have happened in my life and the lives around me to reiterate the fact that Time is fleeting. Time flies, and really you never know when your time is going to end. This might sound negative but it’s not, it’s just reality. People get sick and die all the time, lives change in a heartbeat, you never know that tomorrow’s going to be there. I got breast cancer when I was 41 years old, and even though I’m quite confident that I will beat it, I know that there’s a chance that it will be back in a year and kill me, or that I will walk out of the house tomorrow and get hit by a car (really, I go for long walks every night after dark!). These things happen to people every day, and when something like getting cancer happens to you, you realize that they don’t just happen to other people.
Therefore, it seems very important to enjoy every day, to make the most out of every day and live the way you want to live, not to waste time doing things that aren’t important to you or living in a way that doesn’t make you happy.
Which sounds easy enough, but the reality of life is sometimes changes just can’t be made. It’s easy to say “if you don’t like how you’re living, change it” but somethings can’t be changed easily or at all. Some people can’t afford to leave their jobs and start a new job or stay at home. I would love to change my life and do something different, because I find my career emotionally overwhelming, but the truth is I can’t afford to do so. What I can do is change the way I look at my job, and look at opportunities in my field to do something that’s a little bit different, and that is what I’m doing now, but it’s not a quick easy road and there’s no guarantee it’s going to end the way I hope it does!
People are unhappy in their marriages and don’t know how to fix it, nor do they think they’d be happier single, so they stay in an unhappy marriage. There are people that are in love with someone outside of their marriage, and want to be with that person but know that being with them would hurt their marriage and the people in their lives too much, so they don’t. Sometimes people have to choose between living for every day and making themselves happy, and remembering that other people deserve to be happy to. Sometimes being happy involves a level of selfishness that people can’t realistically or morally attain. This is not actually the case for me, I don’t have to choose between (deeply, we all make choices that are exactly what other people might want us to make) hurting the people I love and being happy, but I do know people that do and it’s not easy to live that way.
The area that the notion of time being fleeting is most relevant to me as well in terms of health and healthy living. Often I see Memes on Facebook that say things like “life is short enjoy the cake”. I get that sentiment, but my opinion is “life is short, I don’t want to make it shorter”. That doesn’t mean I never enjoy cake but if every time I gave in to my desire to eat unhealthy food and sit on my butt watching Netflix instead of exercising, I’d probably be making my life shorter. Not only that, but my life would actually be less pleasant (I know this, I did it for many years). The short-term joy of eating cake and doing nothing active doesn’t outweigh the long-term joy of feeling good about one’s body and fitness level, having more energy, and meeting personal goals. 20 pieces of cake could not give me as much pleasure as the first time I crossed a finish line. If I had kept eating cake (a metaphor for crap) every day and not eating healthy I never would’ve been inspired to start exercising, and that Finish line never would’ve been there for me.
For a lot of people, money is also an issue. I know people that spend all their money and never worry about saving, because they say that life is short and they want to enjoy their lives and have and do and see everything. But what if life isn’t short? What if they end up living to 100? What if they end up needing a lot of care and can’t afford it? It’s sad to see people save and save and save for their futures, and then see something happen in their life and that they’ve saved for nothing. It’s also sad to see somebody spend everything, and then have nothing. There needs to be some kind of balance between enjoying every day, and planning for the future. Some people have enough money to make that easy, others don’t.
I guess my point is, even though time is fleeting and people should try to live their lives the way they want and make everyday good, I don’t look down on people who aren’t able to do so. Sometimes time is fleeting. Sometimes life is long, you never know what it’s going to be so you have to find some kind of balance. It’s not some kind of horrible moral downfall to have times in your life when you’re unhappy and things aren’t the way you want them to be. But it is always in one’s best interest to try to change the way one looks at and copes with them!