Earlier this evening my daughter sent me a short video clip of my Dad. He was in the hospital, and although I didn’t know it then, he had a few days left to live. The clip made me smile. Such a short clip, but I could see he was still trying to make us smile even though I could see he was struggling. Positive until then end.
This Sunday it will be 2 years since he passed, 2 years! Where has time gone!
It’s moments like these that make me think of some of the things my Dad used to say. These comments and short quotes have subconsciously anchored themselves into my brain only to be recalled when triggered by certain scenarios. This one, in particular, is triggered when I realise that a moment of significant time has passed.
Time Waits For No One
My Dad used to say this all the time. Every time I commented on a birthday or an occasion he would say this to me. It reminds us that no matter what you are doing, wherever you are going, time keeps moving and nothing can stop it.
I always get a short stab of anxiety when I realise that time hasn’t waited and another year or two has passed. It’s a sudden realisation that your expectation of time has gone a lot quicker than you thought, and you realise that your perception of a year or two of time is yet more time taken away from your valuable time bank.
Despite us being on that one-way train, never knowing when it is going to stop, this shouldn’t stop you from using the present moment to appreciate life. Numbers like birthdays and years are just ways of reminding you how far down the line of life you are, which only trick you into thinking you are old or young compared to the average life expectancy. When in actual fact, none of this is even relevant as none of us knows how long we actually have anyway.
Time doesn’t wait for anyone, but if you remain in the present and enjoy life now, time is not an issue and it can go as fast or slow as it wants.
When I hear my Dads voice saying “Time waits for no-one lad” I’m soon triggered into living in the present, appreciating the now. No-one knows how long we have on this planet, but by living in the present it’s one way to help the anxiety you get when you realise a large amount of time has passed.
How to accept the inevitable loss of time
So what’s exactly going on when this happens.
I’ll say this many times throughout my blog, humans aren’t designed to be happy, we are designed to survive. In this situation, anxiety presents itself when a significant amount of time has passed comes into our thoughts. Subconsciously we all know we have a limited amount of time on this planet, so when we suddenly realise a good chunk of it has gone and we can’t do anything to get it back, it sends a wave of anxiety deep to the core.
This deep anxiety is like no other ‘anxiety’ feeling, its deeper. Why? Because we are designed to survive and yet at this moment, we realise that life is short and we are a step closer to the inevitable. If the human condition is to survive and we are presented with the fact that we are going to die, how do we deal with that?! We can’t, hence the feeling of raw anxiety which feels deeper and more uncontrollable than anything else.
The first thing to learn is to not get depressed by this. There are two ways of thinking here, think negative and send yourself into a vicious circle of thought, or, accept the short term bout of anxiety as your bodies natural way of trying to protect you and let it pass. Be grateful for the reminder that life is precious and to make the most of it.
Use this anxiety to your advantage. You will know at that moment whether you have any regrets about what you have done or not done during that significant amount of time. Act on that reaction, don’t dwell and use it to your advantage. You can reduce the anxiety response by living a fulfilled life. Make sure you are taking every opportunity with your life so when this trigger happens again you can immediately say to yourself, I’m doing everything possible in my life right now and making the most of it.
If not, take this opportunity to start learning, learn what you have to do to live a life with no regrets. Time waits for no-one, don’t waste it.
Photo by Eugene Shelestov