“The powerful thing to realise is that even if you don’t have some disease like I have, there is a clock ticking for you too and you don’t know when it is going to stop. How do you want to use your time? It is important to consciously decide that. I don’t think there are any wrong answers either but I do think it is important to think about it and to decide consciously.” Jon Morrow from Boost Blog Traffic
I love these thoughts from Jon Morrow about how precious time is. During an podcast interview (This is a truly Amazing Life), Jon talked about how having Muscular Dystrophy made him face his own mortality early in life. He is consciously aware of the ticking clock and that it could stop at any moment. It has driven him to do everything in life with a sense of urgency. Despite having movement only his face, Jon has set up a thriving online business with aid of microphone and speech recognition software. He has consciously decided to not let a physically debilitating disease stop him from having a fulfilling life. In the interview Jon talked about he could have easily let life happen to him and sit day after day in front of the television watching Jerry Springer in a Nursing Home.
I’m maybe a little (okay more than a little) morbid, but I love having regular reminders like Jon’s that this is the only life we have and to make the most of time. At work, I often have the opportunity to talk to patients who are on a journey through life threatening diseases like cancer. I have heard comments like that cancer has been the worst and also the best thing that has happened because it makes you prioritise what is most important of all in life. One of my favourite podcast episodes lately has been the interviews with Keith Bunker on “Sundays with James O’Loghlin podcast”. Keith is in his 40s, married and two young children. Keith has terminal liver cancer. Over the past 6 months he has been sharing his thoughts with James O’Loghlin about living with a terminal disease, how he has made sense of it all and what he wants to do with his precious time left. It is so honest, so thought provoking, so heart wrenching. I’m always on the lookout hoping for another podcast interview with Keith.
Thinking about time passing makes you not only look at your own life but the people around you. I recently had a family get-together and I noticed how physically frail my parents particularly my mum had become. They both seemed to have shrunk. They were walking more hunched over. The arthritis in her knees was really slowing mum down. You always know your parents will one day not be around but suddenly over night it is more of reality. I had a similar feeling with my dog Sasha who died a couple of weeks ago at the age of 16. She had been this spunky, mischievous, full of beans Samoyed for years but then it was like a light switch. Sasha began to age suddenly. She still had the will/drive but physically could not walk daily to the park. The walks grew shorter and shorter until it was just a sniff and walk around the front garden. I miss her so dearly but I’m so glad she is out of pain.
On a lighter note about time, do you ever look around at people your own age and wonder do I really look that old? Inside, I feel like a child (okay maybe more a young twenty year old) but outside….the mirror is reflecting something different. I wonder also whether when I’m in my 70s and 80s will I be physically attracted to the men of a similar age? How does that all work?
I will leave you with some interesting questions about time warps and perceptions? Why does it feel like time passes by more quickly as you age? In life threatening situations why does it feel like everything is passing by in slow motion? Why does it take forever for an event to happen when you anticipating it? What about that pot and watching it boil? Do you agree or disagree that we are living in a time famine world where everything is more busy, you are working longer hours and everyone is demanding more of your time? See you next time.