Most of us live for the time that lies right ahead of us. A few days, weeks, years. One of the most painful moments in a person’s life probably comes with the insight that an age has been reached when there is more to look back on than ahead. And when time no longer lies ahead of one, other things have to be lived for. Memories, perhaps. Afternoons in the sun with someone’s hand clutched in one’s own. The fragrance of flower beds in fresh bloom. Sundays in a café. Grandchildren, perhaps.
“A Man Called Ove” by Fredrik Backman
When reading this passage from the book “A Man Called Ove”, it made me reflect on the difficulty in comprehending the concept of time. It seems as though you begin your life with the great excitement of each and every year. I remember how each birthday seemed so significant and the special occasion marked with great fanfare. You couldn’t wait to get to certain milestones as the rewards were always waiting for you.
You never really gave it much thought that you might be leaving anything behind. I wonder when exactly you start to begin to think of it differently?
Certainly not when you are busy raising a family or embarking on a career. It’s as though you believe that you have all the time in the world. You celebrate the milestones again with your children, trying to create the memories of each and every year. Hoping that they will have a joyful reflection of growing up.
But when you have completed the hustle and bustle of raising a family and have a moment to consider the future, time seems to have flown by.
That’s why it is difficult to look further ahead and ensure that you have planned, not only for your retirement, but also for your time. How do you want to spend it? What makes you happiest? And have you been able to ensure that you are financially prepared to use this remaining time to your advantage?
Aging can be difficult. Not the actual years as much as the mindset. To keep looking forward and appreciating all that life has to offer while you come to the realization that you have
less ahead of you than behind you. Maybe it is this time to appreciate the little things in life. Like a clear blue sky on a spring morning. Or the richness of the colors of the trees in autumn. Or maybe some memory making time with your grandchildren.
Whatever it is that makes you appreciate all of your hard work and joyful memories.
Live life to the fullest and plan ahead so that all of your years are joyful. Not as easy as it sounds, but hopefully you can embark on the last phase of your life with the same excitement as the first. Celebrate each milestone and appreciate the little things that you might have overlooked.
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