A New Year Draws Near

As a new year approaches, I find myself reflecting on the year that has all but passed and the year that will soon be here. I clear my head, hit reset and begin again. I think of it as a wake up call, an annual alarm. Life is indeed short and we only have so much time.

In my teenage years, I worked at a small pizza shop in Milan, IL. My boss there was a man in his late 50's, early 60's (as close to an accurate age as I can remember) and one day in passing conversation, the 'life is too short' cliche came up. He gave me some perspective that I've kept with me for all these years. For the sake of example, I'll use my age to explain. I'm 31 and the average life expectancy for a male in the Unites States is roughly 75 years. Now, if you subtract the two numbers you come up with 44. If I live to be 75, which is not guaranteed, I will have 44 more summers, winters etc. Each Holiday on the calendar I will celebrate only 44 more times. In another year, I will have 43.

One can look at this and say that there are still quite a lot of summers to have. This is true, but very often it is said that life seems to go faster the older you get. I too have experienced this feeling. One can look at this thinking as grim, overseeing the simple things in life and I say that it depends on your perspective, what you wish to gain from such rumination. Or still yet, one may look at this and realize the time there really is.

I see it in a positive light. It reminds me to not take for granted the time I have, which can easily be forgotten. It reminds me to appreciate life's simple joys and the time I get to spend with family and friends. I look back on the year and find areas or specific things I want to improve on and those I feel I've done well. These are the events and people that have made up my life and contribute to who I am. The unique experience that is me. Hindsight is 20/20 (for another cliche) and by better understanding the year I have lived, I can better understand myself, others and the world.

I believe that if you want to be someone, then be that someone now. Though not always easy or seemingly possible, in the least it will get you thinking in the direction of who you want to be, how you want to live and what you want to do. If you find yourself saying 'Someday...', then figure out when that day will come.

To a new year!

Links of Interest:
How Your Brain Sleeps
Why Great Minds Can't Grasp Consciousness

Thanks for reading.

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