One day you’re walking down the street, lost in thought. Thinking about your day at work, your evening, your EMI, your bills, your partner… and BAM. You get hit by a bus. (Ok, I borrowed that from Phoebe)
One day you board a flight to get back home, and BAM. You crash into the mountains.
One day you walk into a party, half annoyed that your friend dragged you out, half sleepy from the tiring day you had. And BAM. You meet the love of your life and life is never the same after that day.
One day you head to work, driving the usual route, seeing the same buildings pass by. And BAM. You have a heart attack.
One day you’re sipping a cocktail on a beach side in Thailand enjoying the holiday you took months to plan. And BAM. You get swept away by a Tsunami.
One day you get a phone call from your wife as you’re finishing an important meeting. And BAM. You’re pregnant.
One day you head to a mall for some retail therapy. And BAM. Armed terrorists gun you and everybody else down.
One day you realize you’re in love. And BAM. He proposes.
One day you’re just hanging out with your best friend. And BAM. You know you’re in love.
I think you get the point of all the bams.
Sometimes in a moment. Sometimes gradually.
What all these BAMS have in common though is that they signify the end of something – a life, a period in your life, the person you were.
After that bam… nothing is the same again. You aren’t the same again. And your life or the lives of the people connected to you, will never be the same again.
And while we get sucked into the immediate consequences of each bam… whether it is mourning, whether it is joy, whether it is anticipation, whether it is heartbreak, whether it is excitement…. we need to STOP.
We need to stop and just take it all in. REEEEEEALLY take it all in.
Take a deep breath. And another.
And realize this – if you’re still alive right now at this moment, be grateful.
That’s the only real gift you have – your life. Your time on this earth.
Are you going to spend that time at a dead end job?
Are you going to spend that time devoured by your phone screen?
Are you going to spend that time ignoring the people who love you?
Are you going to spend that time being unhappy and frustrated?
Are you going to spend that time distracting yourself from the really important things in life like love, laughter, family?
Are you going to hold somebody’s hand and tell them you love them?
Are you going to run in nature, take in some fresh air or dance in the rain?
Are you going to cook a nice meal and really savour it?
Are you going to enrich your relationships by giving them your complete time and attention?
Are you going to have passion for your life and your work?
Are you going to slow down and enjoy the present?
Are you going to look into someone’s eyes and tell them how much they mean to you?
It’s all your call.
I am someone who really values time. Almost to a fault.
Sometimes I say things like “I can’t believe I wasted two hours of my life on that stupid movie/show/conversation/task.” I know it almost sounds too self-important. It’s not. It’s just because of something I read years and years ago that always stayed with me – an interview/article on Paulo Coelho where he was talking about Death. He said that he thinks of Death as a beautiful woman in black sitting right next to him at every single moment in his life. She’s right there, waiting. And he has no idea when and where she will extend her hand to him with a smile, and ask him to go along with her. And just that thought makes it enough for him to live each moment fully, to appreciate all that is around him, his life, his people, the love he has for them, the love they have for him. He’s very careful about what he does with his time and who he does it with, because he knows he doesn’t have all the time in the world as he may want to believe he does. He knows that Death will smile at him one day and say, come with me, your time here is done. And he will have to go.
This is not an attempt to sound morose.
This is an attempt to remind.
So the next time your partner asks for quality time with you, think about whether your work meeting/call is more important.
The next time your mom calls and asks you to come home, think about whether going to the gym is more important.
The next time your child asks you to take him to the park, think about whether watching tv on the couch is more important.
The next time your job makes you feel frustrated, think about whether it’s more important to have a big house or to be happy.
The next time you say no to a loved one, think about whether their smile is important to you.
The next time you go a day without saying “I love you” to someone, think about whether it could be the last time you talk to them.
Because the change is coming. It could be life altering. And it could very well be death.