As good as it gets
Should we have a bucket list for the present as well as the future? Many, such as myself get entrapped in future nostalgia that we tend to forget how lucky we are to have the tactile present within our reach. I feel the spirit of Ramazan exemplifies this idea almost too perfectly – we get an entire month for introspection and more so, to reflect on life’s many facets. Speaking of appreciation, I hope in due time you guys will come to appreciate my writing style which takes the form of a descriptive rant on an informal platform, and appreciate that there is more to me than my supposedly superb dictionary-opening skills!
U-turn commencing and now back to my original point – It was probably some out-of-work, doe-eyed moron at some point when he/she just moved to a big city from hicksville with stars in his/her eyes who coined the phrase ‘live every day like it’s your last’, a mantra preached by the self-deluded or the elite due to its unrealistic nature that falls short of encompassing our daily grind. But now I figure that that impractical living-for-the-moment nut had a point.
Didn’t Coco Chanel or someone say something about dressing everyday like you’re going to die in that outfit? Well, actually in that case, I’d probably be wearing pajamas and a big, old t-shirt every day of my sorry existence. But my point is, we as a race are very aware of death because we are constantly living as a verb, whether trudging through it or skipping along giddily. But we never really get hit on the head so hard that little canaries circle our skulls until an epic event, no matter how minuscule or gigantic in size, causes a subconscious ripple effect in the spongy craters of our brains.
We all pray for what we want the future to hold but what many of us don’t appreciate is how lucky we are to be where we are now. I sometimes check myself by wondering what if I had been given a realistic deadline for how many breaths I had left. How would my perception of the world change when I am constantly reminded of my mortality with the tick tick tick of the jarring hands of the Big Ben-sized time-bomb that could at any moment stop pumping blood and desert me? And the revelatory answer is … I have not a clue.
The first thing that usually comes to our minds (well, at least to my mind) is how many ambitions we still need to accomplish, while simultaneously having the startling realisation that we have already been storing so many fulfilled dreams to appreciate on a rainy day. I guess what I’m trying to say is that the race we run on a daily basis is primarily with ourselves and we need to stop, and actually live in the now, rather than using the expectant future as a balm to heal our aches and pains.
So I guess I’m lucky enough to not really understand what ‘live everyday like it’s your last’ means and anyone who is not on a terminal stopwatch ever will, no matter how many quotes about the meaning of life they share on Facebook. But what I can appreciate as the insanely lucky spectator is the saying ‘this is as good as its going to get’ because the truth is, we never really know what the future holds no matter how much we daydream and plan and pray or send out good thoughts so the Universe will work in our favour.
The only thing we have is the tactile present, each second that passes is another one we have lived and can recognise it for what it was which then gets sealed in the airtight hourglass of our lives. By worrying about what’s ahead as much as we do, majority of us blessed ones tend to forget how lucky we are to actually have the option to not worry about what’s to come because we don’t have to … and that … is as good as it ever gets …
The writer is philosophy major turned journalist turned wanderlust writer and aspiring film-maker with a penchant for going off on a tangent … metaphysically and metaphorically. She can be reached at email@example.com
The views expressed by this blogger and in the following reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the Dawn Media Group.