Events and Challenges, Life, Random

Tiny Treasures – Bloganuary 2023

From my misc-pics-box here is a photo from an icy river in Turku Finland, during our visit in December 2022 in sub-zero temperatures. The best part was the ice blocks froze into place with another ice sheet on top. It was one of the most beautiful sights!

Welcome to Bloganuary, a WordPress Challenge I am participating in this month, that provides a daily writing prompt throughout January.

Day 4 – 4th January 2023.

Today’s prompt is: What is a treasure that’s been lost?

When I think of a lost treasure, the first thing that comes to my mind is TIME. I know it sounds cliché, but that’s exactly how I feel. With the Bloganuary challenge I am happy to be writing about random topics, but I am also enjoying reading all the awesome stuff others are posting. For today’s prompt, before I could start writing mine I went through a few posts from others and I especially loved reading Melissa’s take on a precious treasure called Yesterday. It wholly resonated with me because I was planning to write something on similar lines. However I am truly amazed and inspired with how crisp and brief she made her post. The conclusion is especially fameworthy:

“Be sure to make tomorrow’s yesterday GREAT.”

Now coming to my blabber post.

When I read today’s prompt I thought of Wait But Why, the cool blog by Tim Urban where he draws stick figures and talks about random things. One post that I loved was Your Life in Weeks.

I even printed a blank sheet of life calendar and put in my own colours for school, college, job etc. It was admittedly fun. And then a few months later I came across another post, a darker one.

Before I share that, I must warn you in advance. I hope you have more self restraint than me and can resist the urge to slide into the endless rabbit hole of awesomeness that Wait But Why is!!!

I had already lost my colourful Your Life In Weeks Calendar, when a few months later I read The Tail End where Tim Urban writes that:

Instead of measuring your life in units of time, you can measure it in activities or events.

To illustrate this, I would use his example. I am 34 now, as old as Tim Urban was, back when he wrote that post. So assuming I live up to the age of 90, I have a little under 60 winters left. I am not a big fan of winters, but in other words, the 33 winters of the past and this ongoing one kind of qualify as lost treasures!

Winters

And then it gets dark because, unlike winter that comes every year, there are other events that occur at a variable frequency. Also things get complicated when relationships come into the mix.

As a kid, I would have hugged and kissed my parents multiple times a day. Well, I do still hug and kiss them every time I see them. But since we live on different continents now, that happens to be only once or twice a year. That hug or kiss is thankfully not a lost treasure yet and I surely hope we have many happy healthy years of togetherness ahead, but I do realize that the hugs and kisses are limited in number and there’s only finite amounts of them left in my bag.

Then there are some other tiny treasures from my hazy memories:

  1. Circa 2003 I fought with my younger brother over ownership of the TV remote for the last time ever. He would happily give it to me now. Heck he’d even buy me a TV.
  2. Circa 2004 I stole my sister’s favourite perfume for the last time ever. I still don’t need to buy one on my own because now she gifts me one every time we see each other.
  3. Circa 2012 and Circa 2016 I held my niece and nephew in my arms for the last time ever, back when they were babies. They are 13 and 10 now!
  4. Circa 2007 I drove around Delhi carefree with my best friend for the last time ever. Now when I visit India my schedule is crazy packed, my friend is the mother of 2 girls and I wouldn’t dare to drive in Delhi after my acquired German driving skills.
  5. Circa 2012 I gave a birthday card to my then boyfriend (now husband) for the last time ever. I may give a card to other people now and then but in our household we decided to stop this tradition long ago as we are wannabe minimalists striving to save paper and money.
  6. And many more….

I guess you get the point.

I have read Tim Urban’s post around 4-5 times in the last 5 years I think and, without fail, I always feel a crazy wave of sadness engulf me whenever I do. Now is not different.

But it’s not all doom and gloom. I remember discussing this with my sister during my lowest lows, and her take on it was refreshingly uplifting. She said, “Yes, the time we have ahead is finite, but that’s out of our control. What is in our hands however is the time that lies ahead, and the opportunity to make it special, to make it count.”

In fact, now that I think about it, I started hyper-ventilating whenever I read Tim Urban’s post so maybe I never really read it till the end.

But he surely concludes it beautifully as well.

So what do we do with this information?

Setting aside my secret hope that technological advances will let me live to 700, I see three takeaways here:

1) Living in the same place as the people you love matters. I probably have 10X the time left with the people who live in my city as I do with the people who live somewhere else.

2) Priorities matter. Your remaining face time with any person depends largely on where that person falls on your list of life priorities. Make sure this list is set by you—not by unconscious inertia.

3) Quality time matters. If you’re in your last 10% of time with someone you love, keep that fact in the front of your mind when you’re with them and treat that time as what it actually is: precious.

With passing time, we are losing precious treasures, in terms of moments with loved ones, the hugs and the kisses. So let’s make sure to make tomorrow’s yesterday great! 🙂

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