Dear No One: Life is short

Dear No One, 

If you’re anything like me, the phrase “Life is short” freaks you out. The idea that life is finite, that there’s a limit to all I can do and achieve in my life, causes me more worry than I’d like to admit. It makes me doubt my plans (or just as well, lack thereof) for the present and future, it makes my mind spiral at the prospect of regret, and it makes me lose a little faith in, well, everything. Hearing over and over again that “life is short” left me believing that I have absolutely no time to waste. 

After all, life is short – why cancel on that party? 

Life is short – why postpone that trip I want to take? 

Life is short – why stay in bed all day? 

Life is short – life is short, life is short, life is short. 

But here’s the thing – while life may indeed be short, compared to the endless expansion of the universe (after all, who am I, but a nanosecond in time), it’s actually not for human beings. In fact, it’s the longest thing we, you, I will ever do. 

Many of us are fortunate enough to have years, if not decades, left of life. So, what’s the rush?

Because here’s the thing I wish someone had told me sooner: you do have time to lose and time to waste. What’s a few days compared to months and years? If I am but a nanosecond in an eternal universe, then one day is a second at most. And it’s more than okay to waste that universe’s second. 

Please, stop beating yourself up over not making the most of the day. Don’t feel guilty over wasting a whole day because you just couldn’t muster up enough energy. Don’t compare yourself to those who seem to be living the carpe diem life. Don’t push yourself to seize every single opportunity because “life is short”. 

Because trust me, you’re not running out of time. 

Life is short, yes, but it’s the longest thing you’ll ever do. It’s the most long-term commitment you have to be happy with. Make the most of today, but if you can’t, make the most of tomorrow instead. Or the day after tomorrow. Or next week. Of course, none of us can say with true certainty that we know what the future will bring. So I’m not telling you that you cannot or should not live your best life today. Seize the day, have fun, be happy, today. But don’t worry if today isn’t the day. If today, you have trouble getting out of bed; if today, you couldn’t care less; if today, you just don’t want to do anything – don’t worry about wasting today. Don’t waste your precious time – not even a nanosecond of it – worrying about wasting your precious time. Do what feels right, right now. If it feels right to take a spontaneous city trip today – do it. If it feels right to cancel on a family dinner tonight – do it. 

Do what makes you happy today, whatever that is. 






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Images from Unsplash

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