Part of feeling like you’re alive is having some perspective of your own mortality.
Everyone evening before I go to bed, a question crosses my mind.
I wonder if I’ll wake up in the morning.
There’s a great quote by Chuck Palahniuk in the book Fight Club:
‘This is your life and it’s ending one minute at a time.’
It has stuck with me ever since I read that book a few years ago.
Every night when I go to sleep, there’s a chance I’m not going to wake up in the morning. It might only be a very small chance, but it’s there. The possibility exists. It always will.
Where I’m living at the moment, I get a visual reminder every single day as well. My bedroom looks out over a cemetery. It’s the last thing I see every evening. It’s the first thing I see every morning.
And when I do wake up and look out of my window at the rows of lifeless stones, I am forced to remember how lucky I am to get another day. What an opportunity has been given to me. Every day is just that, the gift of an opportunity. It’s not a right.
I think of that image when I’m trying to decide how to spend my time. When I’m making any decision about how I live my life, how I go about my day. It helps me hold myself accountable. Am I living freely according to my own values?
And when I’m climbing into bed at the end of the day I can look back and ask myself, if today was my last day would I be happy with how I spent my time? If I get the chance tomorrow, what will I do differently? How will I make sure I’m being true to myself? What am I going to do to realise my own definition of success?
Am I going to wake up?
One day I won’t. Maybe not yet. But one day.