JULY 11, 2018
We would talk about everything except the future because when you have such a deep connection with someone the last thing you want to talk or think about is that connection being severed. Long term it may have never worked, but in that moment, whether it’s a night or a week, it felt like the only thing that mattered.
Short term loves are like a sports match or a yoga class: you leave it all on the field, or the mat.
Why hold back when you know you only have a finite amount of time?
When I played soccer in university, I felt like if I had anything left to give after the match was over then I didn’t give enough of myself to the game. After all, what was I saving my energy for? Taking off my cleats? There were no bonus points for walking off the field without being out of breath.
I’m really good at living in the moment when I’m wrapped in something that brings me joy; especially when I know the moment is going to end.
I’ve gotten to know more about someone I have met traveling in one night than I have dating someone for three months. Back at home, dating gets dragged on. We hold our cards close to our chest, but for what? We often wait far too long to have important conversations and by then we are in a relationship with the person.
I recently went on a second date with a man I have nothing in common with. I had that inkling on the first date when we mostly shot the shit – which I hate.
I want to talk about life and death. I want to take about successes and failures and the moments in life that made us cry or laugh until we cried.
I want to talk about real shit. I don’t want to talk about the weather or yard work. Small talk makes me tired.
In the past, I would go on at least a few more dates because, well, why not? Now… now I don’t have time for that. At 34, I am becoming more and more aware of how quickly time passes and how critical it is to spend wisely.
It’s easy to go along with things for the sake of going along with it whether it a relationship, a career or a friendship. It doesn’t seem to make a big deal in the big scheme of things until we get older or are on our death bed or whatever our eureka moment is.
When time seems finite we make different decisions. We hold back. We allow mediocrity to creep in until it consumes us.
But for the 50 minute lunch time yoga class we give it our all.
The truth is, of course, that our time is finite. We all think we’re going to live to be old in our beds, but this isn’t the case. I think that setting an arbitrary end date for when our life might end (when I’m old) prevents us from living the fullest expression of our lives now… because we think we have time.
I liken this to saving for retirement versus saving for a trip.
If you know you are going to Europe in a month you get your shit together and put all your pennies away to not only cover the cost of your trip, but to make the most of it; to never say no to an experience or a pastry because you can’t afford it. There is something about the immediacy of our trip that makes saving money easy, but retirement?
So what do we do?
Like most things in life, we can only make a change once we become self-aware.
What are we putting off? Why?
I am the ultimate procrastinator. I put so many things off until they become last minute, but lately I’ve been thinking more about the impact of my decisions not to pursue something I care about or something that brings me joy.
It’s like waiting to take all the trips you’re taking until you retire.
What if you don’t have enough money? What if you get sick? What if you’re partner gets sick?
What if you die?
At the end of my life, I don’t want any regrets. I don’t ever want to wonder what would have been had I done things different; had I not put XYZ off.
I guess the only thing I can really say that might be of any help is something I heard Tim Ferriss say on a podcast today. He was talking about the one question he asks himself before he flies.
Would I be OK dying today?
He said that when his answer is no, and why his answer is no (because he fought with his mom, for example), then he knows he has something he needs to deal with. He has something he should not be putting off.
So, I ask you: would you be OK if you died today? If not, why?
Ashley is a surfer, yogi and writer living and loving in Calgary, AB. She aims to write the way she lives – freely and unapologetically.