gratitude-a-thon day 2034: temporary


Everything is temporary. You don’t think so. Everything seems like it’s solidly yours, and that it’s like wedding vows—-forever and always. Sometimes to the extent that it’s boring, even.

Guess what. It’s impermanent. All of it. It can all be gone in the time it takes Trump to compose one of his idiot tweets.

When someone dies, who should not be going anywhere, but to work or the movies, or his son’s little league game, or dinner with his wife, it becomes quite clear that all we think we hold is really not able to be held.

It’s an event like this. a premature death, that makes you begin to understand that life is like antique lace, exquisite, but ready to tear into an unrecognizable and useless fragment of what was once perfect. Things do not last. Nothing follows the rules we’ve created in our organized heads of life’s chronology. Don’t be fooled or lulled into complacency about your existence not having an expiration date, like a carton of milk. It does. It’s just not printed on our foreheads.

Is there something essential to be learned from this? If you realize there’s no guarantee that tomorrow is waiting in the wings, would you spend your day differently, having more fun, for instance?  Does indoctrinating yourself to believe that we don’t know when our lives will end, help us to stay in the impossible to stay in moment that everybody’s always trying to step into? Is this a curse, or the gift?

Does it really matter that I just painted my house, or does it matter more because of the immense pleasure I’ve gotten from the soothing new colors I’m living in? Should I stop worrying about the inconsequential, and just remember that I could be given a six-month window in which I could permanently stop breathing? And all of it, all of my worries and backup worries would become utterly and totally useless forcing me to wonder why I spent so much time thinking about such ridiculous and useless shit to start with.

The longer you live, the better you understand how this life works and all the ways that it’s unfair and sad and beautiful, too. But make no mistake, life is temporary. Treat it like that. And be grateful for what it is you have today.