How Will You Live, Knowing You Will Die?

By Fei Nei July 23, 2011

Time is a big issue for me. I am constantly strategizing how to manage or otherwise control my time (life) so I have lots of time to paint, be with loved ones, or otherwise, putter in timelessness. Wasting time to me means running errands, personal grooming, and talking on the phone. I don’t even own a T.V.

I quit my job in IT because I was gripped by the feeling that life is too short to spend my time doing something I am not passionate about. I paint fast because I am working out how to get where I want to with the painting in the most efficient way possible. I am a stickler about arriving places on time. When I hired a life coach I bawled to her “I just want to make sure I am making the best use of my life” (meaning, spending my time wisely).

My husband and I are wonderfully incompatible when it comes to time. He has no sense of it, or its relevance to anything. I think this is one of the main indicators that I am with exactly the right person. It drives me nuts, but it is a constant reminder that time is my own hang up.

Here is the main pinch point: I have this persistent current of creative energy that feels fun and strong, but it can also be exhausting. I can’t keep up with all of my ideas. I have clothes I want to sew, foods I want to try cooking, gardening ambitions, trips I want to take, businesses I want to start, don’t get me started on paintings I want to create. It is wonderful. But there is only one of me, and I also am the point person for two, sometimes three other people on this planet. So, my time is my own only part of the time.

For me it comes down to enjoying the flow of ideas, smiling at the beauty of so many great ideas, but not feeling compelled to act on any. That’s on a good day. Other days I feel easily overwhelmed. Meditation helps. But this push pull framework around time that I live my life from is persistent, and I think it is a big one for me.

There it is.