So much seems caught in this handful of words (on another strangely insightful billboard*):
“One day could change your life.”
For, existentially, all of our lives seem certain to change one day – changed forever from the life we know into something we can only understand as an ending; as death.
One day, life; one day, not.
Yet how easy it is to forget this. To, instead, get caught up in the other kind of ‘one day’ – as in: “One day, I’ll get around to fixing that broken step/heart/relationship”. Or, “One day I’ll finally have the courage to test out my dream of …” Or, “One day, I’ll eventually let myself be the kind of person I secretly feel myself to be.”
(Just not today).
The myth of this ‘one-day-thinking’ is that there’ll always be a ‘later’. Guaranteed. That, somehow, your life will be long enough, large enough, to attend to those things some other time. That the days you have here will stretch out to accommodate all the stuff you’d like to return to down the track. Later. Then. Whenever. (Never?)
How is it that we can see and experience others dying and it often seems ‘too soon’ – and yet imagine that we’ll magically be immune from that. That we won’t be cut short. We’ll have the time. One day.
And, maybe subconsciously, that we believe we can control how long we’re around for and when we can afford to put things off until…
Yet our particular ‘one day’ is coming – the day it all stops being an option. (At least in the way we currently experience our lives).
So in light of the (unmeasurable, unknowable) time you still have left here, what seems important to you? What would you like to say, to see, to heal, to attempt, to become? What freedoms and responsibilities do you have? What choices do you want to make?
(This is all deep in the territory of existential therapy).
And what action might these things entail?
What changes might you like to make in your life to bring this about (while you can)?
When you get around to it?
Or maybe even today…
Maybe you want to stop swapping the life you have now for some mythical ‘later’ – to stop bartering what you do have for what you don’t (or maybe even can’t have). To live right now…
So, as it turns out, the billboard might be right. One day could change your life.
And perhaps that day might even be today…
*This image of the billboard is so pixellated as, in the spirit of ‘seizing the now’, I snapped it while I could, on my phone…)
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From Psych Central's website:
If "Eternity Is Now" Then What Will You Do With It? | The Therapist Within (January 31, 2012)
Last reviewed: 18 Mar 2011