In the first few minutes after I wake up, I am often acutely aware of my mortality. My mind feels separate from my body, and my body feels like a hunk of rotting meat. This awareness is both profound and unpleasant.
Most days, death lurks somewhere off in the distance. It’s going to happen, but it probably won’t happen today, or next week, or next year even. If I can expect to live as long as the life expectancy statistics tell me I can, then I’ll be around for another four decades. Suddenly, I feel sick.
“Tell me, what is it you plan do with your one wild and precious life?” the great poet Mary Oliver asks us. Quotes like that are inspiring, but they can also intimidate. It’s hard not to feel like you’re doing it wrong. Even when you have so much to be grateful for, it’s impossible not to feel at times like you’re squandering the literal opportunity of a lifetime. Like now, for instance. Why am I typing this? There is an entire world of possibility just outside my window.
Unfortunately, we don’t always know what to do with our time here. But one thing I’ve found is that it’s always good to connect with others. It could be something as simple as a short email to a friend sending them a song you think they’d like. Or a quick conversation with a colleague about something other than work. It doesn’t take much to make you feel happy about life here on Planet Earth. Rocket science or Ancient Greek Philosophy it ain’t — but it is a way to give your life a bit more meaning while you’re lucky enough to be living it.