As I carry on my daily work, my mind is focused.
But in the moments of reduced attention to the task, in recent weeks, it wanders to thoughts of my ultimate demise. I think of me, my parents, my wife and children, all one day gone. Today I thought of a business friend who lost her child 10 or so years ago and the pain that she and her husband must know, and I hope that I never find myself there.
It's a remarkable thought to contemplate one's own mortality, and although it's unnerving, it captures my interest.
Who or what am I? Really, what am I? I have no clue. It's a pursuit of something I can never catch up to. It's always just out of reach.
No, too scary. Ok, just a little look. No! Back to work now.
Yet, it pursues me too, and away from the realisation of it I cannot get. Paradoxically, I seem to know it and not, and it seems to know me.
Without this realisation, I could never come to terms with my own foolishness, the thoughts that rush in, my screaming and shouting, either on my own in the van as I drive, or at my son for his seeming unwillingness to embrace my allegedly solid advice towards efficiency.
Change that word, you use it too much…
Absent of the recognition and acceptance of my inevitable death, I would never understand that my demands on myself and others are utterly pointless. Success, happiness, money, recognition, reward and applause, every one ultimately a fool's errand.
The disorganised dishwasher, the untidy hallway entrance, the shoes strewn around the living room, my insufferable insistence on timeliness and attention to detail, and my impatience at others' apparent inability to meet my impeccably high standards–bollocks.
But I persist.
I think somehow it might end differently and my children will thank me for being as I am. As if that is a reasonable excuse.
Whatever it is, the fundamental basis of this monologue inside my skull, it doesn't accept the wafer thin surface reasoning that it presents itself.
The fact is, none of us are getting out of here alive, so it matters.
Proliferate Alternative Thinking…
Subscribe to the weekly Sunday Letters newsletter and receive essays of life, work, & the pursuit of happiness straight to your inbox – No spam, no hard-sell, no bullshit. Just good quality content.