Monday, February 4, 2013

One day less

I was at sangha yesterday (that Buddhist-based meditation group I mentioned in another recent post) and a woman spoke about it hitting her that she's closer to the end of her life than the beginning.  That her time is running out.  She said each day she lives is "one day less" that she has to live. 

Obviously that's the case for all of us.  From the day we're born, every single day is a once-in-a-lifetime experience.  There will NEVER be another February 4th, 2013. 

I have a poem, or saying perhaps (not sure if it's a poem or not), that I'd like to share. 

"This is the beginning of a new day. 
This day was given to me to use as I will. 
I can waste it or use it for good.
What I do today is important because I am exchanging a day of my life for it.
When tomorrow comes, this day will be gone forever, leaving something I have traded for it. 
I want it to be gain, not loss;
Good, not evil;
Success, not failure;
In order that I shall not regret the price I paid for it."

I don't remember where I got that from, but it changed how I view life.  I realized I had started to forget, which is why I recently posted it in my living room. 

I'm not saying this to put any negative pressure on myself or anyone else.  I know it could be easy to think, "Life is short.  Each day is so important, it has to be amazing.  I have to be productive.  I have to make it count," and then freak out if you have a lazy day, make a giant mistake, do something you wish you hadn't, squander an opportunity, etc.

At the same time, I think everyone should be conscious that they have a limited time here.  As the woman from sangha said (and no, it's not the same woman I quoted in the other post), our society and our culture tends to make us feel like we're invincible.  That we're going to live forever.  We have "our whole lives ahead of us."  No hurry! 

But then we wake up one day and we're fifty years old.  Or sixty.  Or thirty-five.  Whatever. 

What I believe is important is to #1: Enjoy life.  And #2: Be who we ARE. 

Figure out what we're here to do and get on with doing it. 
How do you do that?  Follow your heart.  Listen to your spirit (inner voice).  Live YOUR life, no one else's.  Be proud of what you do and what you exchange your minutes, hours, days, years FOR! 

Each day IS one day less that we have in this life. 

Quotes of the Day:

“A lifetime isn't forever, so take the first chance, don't wait for the second one! Because sometimes, there aren't second chances! And if it turns out to be a mistake? So what! This is life! A whole bunch of mistakes! But if you never get a second chance at something you didn't take a first chance at? That's true failure.”  (C. JoyBell C.)

“If you start the day reading the obituaries, you live your day a little differently.”  (David Levithan, Love Is the Higher Law)

“To comprehend the value of one year, just ask the students who failed their entrance exams.
To comprehend the value of one month, just ask a mother who gave birth to a premature baby.
To comprehend the value of one week, just ask the editor of a weekly newspaper.
To comprehend the value of one hour, just ask the lovers who are waiting to meet.
To comprehend the value of one minute, just ask the people who missed their stop on the train.
To comprehend the value of one second, just ask the person who managed to avoid an accident just in time.
To comprehend the value of one tenth of a second, just ask the person who ended up with a silver medal at the Olympics.
The hands of the clock will continue ticking.
Therefore, treasure every moment you have.
And treat today as the upmost gift you’ll have.”
  (Fumie Mizuhashi Shinzuke Yamaoka)

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