You only live once

flower-on-the-ground

Disclaimer 1: 43% philosophy coming up.
Disclaimer 2: You know 50-100% of what you’re going to read.

I had a very weird conversation with one of my friends a couple of days ago. I wouldn’t go into the specifics of it, but let’s just say someone we knew was almost diagnosed with cancer, but was lucky enough to not have been. This conversation made me realize that any moment could be our last. Some of us know when it’s going to be our last day. It might be a health condition, old age, or a very definite life threatening situation. I guess these people are partly lucky (unless they have many more years to live out) because they are foreseeing a tiny part of their future, albeit unpleasant and unwanted. For some others it might be unforeseen and they might not even have the time to realize that the next moment is their last. It could be an accident, a natural calamity, or probably something as simple as choking on food (It doesn’t happen usually, but yes, it can kill you).

But putting aside the list of multiple ways in which one can die, may be we should start listing down things we should do when we are still alive. Isn’t it time we start living life than letting life happen to us? I know this is one of those lines which is all over the internet. But we don’t really absorb its meaning unless we consciously start to.

Everyone has a bucket list of things to do before they die. If you don’t, I think you should start making one. If not for anything else, it’s fun. Let’s just say it might come in handy later. This was step 1. Now step 2 would be to start doing these things, because life is short. Shorter than we think. Remember how you might have said “It feels like yesterday that I joined college” or “It has already been two years since I started working, I cant believe it”? While they say we should live every day one word at a time, between all the hours we sleep and all the hours we work, we lose years of our lives. What we should be worrying about is not that time is passing, because that’s natural and bound to happen. What we should actually worry about is that we don’t realize when a year went by. It’s okay to know that you are a year older the next time you cut your birthday cake, but it feels so much better when you know you have done something in the past one year. Like that online course you wanted to take on digital marketing, those guitar classes you wanted to go to, all the calories you wanted to burn, all the places you wanted to travel to, the books you wanted to read which kept piling up, those people you wished you talked to more often, the things you wished you said, jumping into a pool of water in winter, waking up in the morning to watch the sun rise, stopping by to hear the sound of a flowing river, those little moments of autumn you wished you savored, those hobbies you wanted to pursue and many more. There’s a huge list if you start writing, but only if you start. And may be it’s time to begin ticking off things on your list, one at a time. Let’s say, for example, that you wanted to do bungee jumping. It’s time to go fasten that rope and jump off a cliff when you still can, because before you know, you’ll be babysitting your grand kids and telling them stories of how you always wanted to bungee jump and how you did not. Not a very good picture to paint in your sixties. There’s also a chance you wanted to do something which you can’t anymore. Like may be you wanted to trick-or-treat, or wear a Halloween costume any time of the year, or ride in a grocery cart in a supermarket, but never did. It’s okay. Start today, before its too late, before another decade is lost like a dream in your sleep, before you have many more things that you can’t do anymore.

Like my friend reminds me at least thrice a week, YOLO!

This picture was clicked on the steps of a temple in Northern India. Such a short life a flower has, yet it makes sure people appreciate the purpose of its life: beauty.