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Your Hourglass

Captain hook is perhaps the quintessential character for me who feared death. Perhaps if not death he feared time. What more literal display can you get than fear of a crocodile which has already taken a bite out of you, and ticks along driving him mad? Contrast that with his conflict against the eternally young lost boys, and you have a pretty solid image going.

Hourglass pouring sand
Your hourgalss

But aren’t we all captain hook after a certain age? Time has taken a bite out of all of us: A knee that crunches. A stomach that is softer than it was. A memory that is not as sharp as we would have liked it at this age. A lost loved one. A departed friend.

On the other hand, we can look at the lost boys, playing make believe into infinity’s end, achieving nothing, and having no real meaning.

The ticking clock reminds us. Nothing stops time. But time gives us something in return if we listen to the ticking hand. It whispers to us and asks, “What did you do?” “How did you spend me?”

If you had only ten years left to live, what would you do differently? What if that number was only five? Only two? What if it was only one?

“Am I living a life I truly desire? If I could see how much time I had left would I choose to live it any differently?” What if you could see it tick down on your arm like an old watch or set an alarm on your phone that reminded you another hour ticked by… you will not get it back. Would you still choose to spend yesterday, last week or even last month the way you did? If you knew how much time you had left, would you still want to be doing what you are right now?

If you knew when your time would come to an end would the choices, you’re making still be the choices you’d make?

What if those you loved and your best friends had their time on display overhead? Would you treat them better?

Because that is reality. Not one of us has a guarantee of a year. Car accidents, cancers, heart attacks, and a thousand other ways to die pulled from the actuarial tables comes for everyone of every age. But this I not necessarily a tragedy if we have lived the best possible life before death knocks on our door.

This is not a sentimental call to something silly like YOLO. Sue you only live once, but you also can not throw it away. Life does require planning and life does require sacrifice to something more than us. But life must also carry meaning. Are you living? Because your clock is ticking. Your sand drains away and the hourglass is bolted to the floor.

Go. Do. Live.

Whether it is writing, or any other meaningful activity, find your action. Be the best at it that you can possibly be. Because…

Tick. Tick. Tick.

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