We live in a world where we are constantly told the enemies and threats to our lives are the religious differences, the governments, the economy, the geography, the climates, the greedy corporations and the ever growing number of illnesses… Maybe… But today I had another thought… Our biggest enemy is time.
The way we use our limited time on this earth and the way we waste it on things that don’t matter is breathtaking.
Before I became ill I realised I probably wasted more of my time on this earth trying to create a lifestyle, a career, a legacy and financial prosperity and all the while the most precious thing of all was vanishing without me realizing it.
I was distracted by the music, fashion, body image, what my parents taught me, politics, advertising and media… All meant to keep me oblivious of the time that was vanishing in front of me.
One by one I started to lose family members, friends and loved ones. All taken in time. Never to return. Lost to time.
But there was no time to think about that as deadlines and jobs kept demanding attention. Washing. Cleaning. Groceries. Mowing. Cooking.
Never stopping. Never apologizing. Demanding more and more of my time.
Since becoming sick I have become extremely aware of the value of time. I am also aware of all those around me who still don’t appreciate its value. Most people don’t appreciate it. They don’t understand how agonizingly little time we have and so they waste it on things that really don’t matter.
In compensation for the loss of physical abilities and health that I once had, I now have more time to spend with my husband, the things I care about and my garden. It’s a bitter sweet trade.
At the end of life, if people were asked what time they would want back, most people would say that it would be time spent with loved ones. Not working. Not trying to squeeze into skinny jeans. Not bragging about your accomplishments!
In an ultimate irony, the thing that I would have wanted MORE of is what I now have; time to love.
My chronically ill friends who are still struggling with diagnosis and saddened by the loss of their former selves may come to see that there is a bright star burning at the centre of this changing landscape, and that is that you will see things and value time more than almost every other human being in the world. You will have the time to say those things and feel those things that many people will never make the time to have and do… until it’s too late.