It’s three minutes shy of midnight – usually the time that I find most productive to write my blog posts. Yani is asleep on the couch in the living room and Indy is waiting for me in his bed outside the study.
I’m still in the first month of my fifth decade and so far life is great. Spring is in the air and Adelaide is looking very beautiful with the clear blue sky, with flowers blooming all around and greeneries that have sprouted all around the city. On the other hand, I am steadily reminded of the finality of life.
I was informed at work today that an instrumental academic at the Institute is battling colorectal cancer – an ailment that I would never wish even on my worst enemy. I highly respect the academic and I wish that he would ultimately defeat the cancer. He’s still in his 40’s … Only earlier this week I was also informed that an ex-colleague from Citibank had lost her husband to sickness as well. I remember the days when I still worked together with her. She was still single at that time – at an age where most traditional Indonesians consider beyond the ‘marrying age’. The whole department tried to matchmake her with different men – after we ascertained the kind of men that she liked. I had already left the company when she finally found her fiance whom she married later on. Of course I was very happy for her. In less then fifteen years of marriage, she’s widowed already.
I’m also reminded that my physical body is slowly marching towards its final state – my knees aren’t as strong as they were twenty years ago. My eyes aren’t as keen as they were when I was younger. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not feeling morose or morbid at all. I’m just feeling pragmatic that although I act as somebody who is still in his early thirties, my body keeps on reminding me of my true age. I have also started to realise that within forty or fifty years from now, I may not be around to enjoy the technological advancements or know who or what the next big thing on TV and on the musical scene. That privilege will have to be passed on to the next generation.
I know I’m still young and that I have a lot of juice in me to propel me to the future – however, it’s just a fact of life that as you grow older, you hear more and more stories about your families and friends who depart earlier than you. They are constant reminders that life is really not as trivial as it seems – that we really shouldn’t sweat the small things nor be tempted to stray away from our true calling. I wonder what will happen when we have our last second – whether we regret the things that we haven’t done, or whether we embrace what happens next with the certainty that we know where we’re heading to.
We’ve got one chance to live our lives and to make it meaningful, in a way that impacts other people and glorifies God.
Quite a sobering thought, really.