‘It is not that we have a short time to live, but that we waste a lot of it.’ – Seneca
As I read these words from one of my hero’s, Seneca the Roman philosopher, all I could think about was death. Even writing the word ‘death’ feels uncomfortable. To be clear my thoughts were happy ones, I just had a sudden realisation that no one has the right to a long life. Fate could take it away at any moment. There are no guarantees: Saints, heroes and villains all pass at some point. Just because you are a ‘good’ person does not mean you will live until a ripe old age passing serenely in your sleep.
In this moment of reflection I felt strong, confident that I was now making the most of this wonderful life. Of course this is easy to say as I write these words feeling fit as a fiddle, but what of fate, the drunk driver, cancer, heart disease or terrorist attack. Present day health has nothing to say about such events. Life is so fragile it takes the slightest slip and it’s over. Please don’t misunderstand me this is not meant to sound morbid and it did not feel morbid as my mind wandered towards my own demise. It was strangely liberating. To know if I left the building of life I could do so safe in the knowledge I have lived it.
Do I start to walk across roads with my eyes closed? Why should I care about living well in the present if I am fearless of the future?
This mind exercise produced a simple answer: I am more determined than ever to enjoy every second of this beautiful life. I will eat well and exercise to nourish my body with the elements required to thrive. Giving me the energy and vitally to extract every last drop from this wonderful life. I will look after my mind, as though it were a precious gem that should never be lost. And I will never let a hangover rob me of another minute. It is time to lift my head up, smile at the stranger for I am not scared of life anymore. No one or no thing can take it away from me before its time. I am ready, born ready. There is nothing to take only extra to add. I am not going to sit around and wait for fate to decide my ending. I will write my own script from this day on. If my play lasts for another 20 minutes or 70 years I will enjoy every second as best I possibly can.