There’s something peculiar about celebrating birthdays. It gets us thinking about stuffs that we don’t normally think about.
Morbidly, I thought about the inevitable.
Death. The one thing that we all have in common, eventually.
Coincidentally, a close friend who shared the same birthday had exactly the same thought. We both imagined our funerals (if there was one) to be a celebration for the living, and not a solemn mourning for the deceased.
Let there be tears of joy, not grief. Throw a big party where family and friends would gather to rejoice in the gifts of life.
It turned out that, pondering over mortality occasionally can be immensely beneficial. I learnt to be more appreciative of every moment I have. I could not resist the urge to dig out a favourite book that helped me survive the tumultuous adolescent years.
The following lines taken from Hugh Prather’s Notes To Myself had kept me wondering:
But it’s morning. Within my hands is another day. Another day to listen and love and walk and glory. I am here for another day.
I think of those who aren’t.
What does it mean to be here? What does it mean to have friends? What does it mean to get dressed, to have a meal, to work? What does it mean to come home? What is the difference between the living and the dead?
I sometimes wonder if the “dead” are not more present, more comfort, more here than those of the living.
Reading that, I felt incredibly blessed to wake up to another day. Some didn’t.
Honestly, I don’t know how to practically live each day to the fullest or as if it was my last. But at least, I could strive to be more fully present to the here and now – with the people I am interacting with, the things I do, and even with myself.
Today, I shall listen more intentionally, love more intensely, and walk more mindfully.
That’s good enough for me. What about you?