Do you feel it too?
№ 34 ☼ 2 minutes ☼ 557 words
“I think there is a real relationship [between the two]: a society that tells people that they can achieve anything will also be a society that very swiftly develops a problem with self-esteem.
If everybody expects to achieve everything, you’re going to get an awful lot of people who are feeling that something’s gone dramatically wrong with their lives.”
- Alain de Botton
Do you feel the weight of wasted time?
Life is long. But the days are short. They slip by, unnoticed. You forget to actualize each moment. You forget that every minute holds infinite potential.
The weight of wasted time can cause anxiety. You’re mourning the loss of time that has passed and you’re unsure how to be responsible with the time that remains. But you don’t know the amount of time you have left, which leaves you with a skewed sense of proportion - have you wasted a majority of your hours or was that just a drop in the bucket? It’s confusing and distressing.
The regret of squandered time can be a heavy burden. I feel it often. I’m not where I wanted to be. I’m not who I thought I’d be. Dreams unrealized. Catastrophic mistakes. Laziness.
But when I read this interview, I felt my burden lifted.
At 32, Delana Jensen Close began to pen the first words of a story that she dreamed would become a novel. But the demands of her busy life, her three children, and the family business prevented her from dedicating her time to the book. Even so, Delana wrote little notes, bits of the novel when she could. Over the span of 60 years, she made progress that was almost immeasurable, writing each line of her book by hand.
At 95, Delana self-published her 806-page novel. And she’s working on three more.
Can you imagine how she felt during those years? The despair from carrying a dream that she may never be able to bring to life. The self-doubt, feeling like a failure.
As the years piled up, as she aged, the pressure of the sunset of her life, her own story coming to an end with a story in her heart still untold - it’s almost too much to bear.
But she never gave up. In fact, that was her advice to anyone with a dream, a story to tell, a life to live - “Don’t give up.”
That is why an amount of time is a poor measure of time’s value. Actualizing your moments to the best of your ability is what matters. Persevering, in spite of everything pushing against you.
You focus on time you’ve lost - but why? You can’t get it back.
You feel you’ve squandered your best years. Is that true? How do you know? What does “best years” even mean? Besides, those moments are gone forever. What will you do next? The only limits are those you place on yourself.
This is about more than accomplishing goals. This is about living a life of purpose, a life lived fully, and a life you can be proud of. Though you have a pile of regrets and are ashamed of the past, the future still presents itself to you, with all of it’s potential.
It’s never, ever too late to do the thing you dreamt about.
…To pick up the phone and apologize.
…To start living a life of generosity, goodness, and love.
… To accept that yesterday is gone but the future won’t be full of the same waste or the same mistakes.
One foot in front of the other. You can do this.
The day is not over. The sun hasn’t set. The light remains.
Don’t give up.
You still have time.