You aren’t going to live forever. You already know that. We all know that. The problem is, the vast majority of us live our lives like we are immortal. Wasting the precious time we have, and won’t ever get back. Low motivation and acting like we own time, when we are merely borrowing it from our future.
A regular Saturday morning children’s swimming lesson. Just one of thousands going on across the country, but to me this one’s different. It’s my six year old daughter’s first. She loves the water, but her confidence and enthusiasm way exceed her ability, which is a dangerous equation! She’s nervous and excited. I’m nervous and excited! I sit at poolside with dozens of other parents, keenly watching her progress.
She’s doing great. Regular, approval seeking glances toward me are greeted with lots of enthusiastic ‘thumbs up’s’ and mouthing of ‘awesome’ and ‘well done’. I always get carried away like this, I can’t help it. But then I noticed something…..
Although I was there with many other parents, I was also alone. The ONLY ONE that was actually present. Like two parallel universes. The present and the absent.
To a person, every single other parent was looking at their phone. Doubtless scrolling meaningless shit that could have been done at another time. The sad reality is, it probably is done at all other times. All the swimming lesson was to them was a distraction from a continuous cycle of consuming shit.
Their children’s approving glances weren’t answered. They weren’t even recognised.
It struck me. How much of the REAL, important parts of our lives are we actually losing? How many memories AREN’T being made? Opportunities going unnoticed. How much of life is happening outside of our awareness as we live on autopilot?
The swimming class happened to be a good example as it demonstrated the point in a dynamic that should be held as priceless, that between parent and child. If parents can let this happen, how widespread must it be in less obvious situations like between other family members, friends, and the workplace?
It’s not just parents, it’s everyone. We’ve all seen those facts about how much of our life is spent doing various tasks like waiting in line (6 years), toileting (13 months), and other such essentials. It’s estimated that, for an 80 year old, after all of those tasks are taken away, we have left approximately 232 months. How much of that time is being wasted by not even BEING PRESENT? Distracted or daydreaming about pointless stuff. It must be a big slice of that 232 months.
Life is short, but we act like it’s infinite. We need to open our eyes, be more aware and spend MORE of our time living in the moment. Remember, we don’t own time, we borrow it from our future.