In talking with a friend about her friend’s near death experience, I asked, with a misplaced chip on my shoulder, “I wonder what he plans to do with his borrowed time?”
The words left my lips and immediately made a swift u-turn, staring at me blankly in the face.
We’re all on borrowed time. We’re all on God’s schedule, lucky to even have these thoughts and breathe this breath.
Even distant stories of death or illness have a way of slamming us into our shoes of the present moment with a clear map for how to live. This phenomenon gives way to a little dance I’m always practicing – finding the balance between carpe diem and everyday to-dos. Acknowledging death and feeling safe in the world. Loving myself, my daughters, my husband and my family with a whole heart of love, rather than a heart motivated by fear. Holding death at the forefront, not as a stressor, but as a way to stay in alignment with priorities and timetables.
As a mom, I often forget that having fun and leading with happiness is a serious option for how to live my life. Choosing fear and anxiety can feel safer, but it’s merely a facade for my misguided mind. With every moment of practice and intention, my armor of lighthearted joy is getting stronger; a much better fit.
So the question is: what am I doing with my borrowed time?
More of these things: boogie board, forgive, feel my daughter’s cheek on mine, pay attention, listen to what feels true to me.
And less of these things: hold resentments, judge, feed anxious thoughts, listen to what I’m “supposed to be doing”.
The Summer Day by Mary Oliver
Who made the world?
Who made the swan, and the black bear?
Who made the grasshopper?
This grasshopper, I mean–
the one who has flung herself out of the grass,
the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,
who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down —
who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.
Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.
Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.
I don’t know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn’t everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
With your one wild and precious life?