A good friend of mine once said while walking in the mountains of Gran Canaria.
“Knut, we have twenty good years left. Use them wisely »
I was about 49 years old at the time and did not feel old at all. In fact, I was quite agile and answered her quickly:
“You must give me some hope that I will not be dead in twenty years.”
“It’s not about that,” she said. “But that we have twenty good years left.”
We can do what we want
Then she explained it to me. In the next twenty years we can start a family (or end a marriage). We can have children, we can take an education, we can establish companies, become good at sports, in short, what ever we want.
When the twenty years are behind us, we must, together with the rest of those who have passed 70 – 75, realize that health and cognitive abilities do not make life quite as simple as it was in 30, 40, 50 and 60 years of age.
…the small things in life are in fact the big things in life…
What she said has followed me ever since. And the thought of how much life we have in a life. Tim Ferriss mentioned this in a lecture on how he found out that he had actually seen his parents very little in recent years. (We are talking about days)
A lifetime is
My parents are dead now, but I remember I visited them about 2 hours every week for the last five years of their lives.
2 hours every week for five years. There are 40 full days spent with them in the last years of their lives. It’s not much.
Before you skip out of birthdays, family gatherings – consider this:
Think about this when you work overtime at work for the nth time or skip your child or friend’s birthday or stare blindly into a TV, or do other things you basically do not really want.
Realize that the small things in life are in fact the big things in life.
Life is short.