Urgency of Now
One of the things of which I am most aware at this point in my life is
that I have fewer breaths left to take than I have taken. At the age
of sixty-six, I have already lived 24,090 days. If I am blessed to live to
eighty-six I have 7,300 days left. So, if I am very fortunate and have
twenty years that is about one third left.
This is not an attempt to dredge up some sort of existential despair in
the face of death but rather to recognize a personal and spiritual sense
of time oriented urgency. It is the urgency of no more time to waste,
mess with or squander. No more treading water. Life and I are not done
with each other yet. But at some point we will be and between now
and then I want every moment to count: that is, to be filled with more
aliveness, connectedness and vitality.
More than ever, I am seeing that there is a limit to my time, at least in
this incarnation. I feel a pressure to stop putting off life. In my thirties
death meant very little other than as a sort of theoretical future thing.
I knew death existed the same way I knew eskimos existed. Both were
undeniably real yet far away. Now it is much more real and personal.
This brings an excitement and sense of determination. In the coming
time I want it all. I want every life affirming experience that is possible.
At some point I won’t have the opportunity for new experiences. So
now each day is lived with some sense of urgency. In the facing of
death life becomes more vital.
I am not so silly or Pollyannaish as to proclaim I like the idea of death
and obviously my liking or not liking is of little import. What I do like is
being present to each moment now. In a sense my first sixty-six years
was a dress rehearsal for the next twenty years or twenty minutes. But
now I want the real thing. No more rehearsals.
When I think of how radically different I am now from the man I was at
the age of forty-six, I marvel at the possibilities. It will be an interesting