My daughter was recently tasked with asking me and my husband how many minutes we’ve been alive.
For me: 22,645,440.
That’s a lot of minutes.
And I remember many of them very very well.
Births. Deaths. Weddings. Orangina sipped in the Loire Valley when I was a child. Then chardonnay 20 years later in that same spot as an adult. Sprinklers in Portugal. The moment we were allowed to bring her home. The first time hugging on-line friends in real life. The smell of my dog Jesse when he was a puppy. When I got busted for stealing the gum. Tijuana with my bestie when we were 17. My first pay cheque. My last pay cheque. The first marathon phone call with my now husband (the shortest five hours of my life.) Fresh falling snow that Christmas Eve in Innsbruck. Getting the news from the doctor.
About that last point.
I went for a follow-up appointment with my doctor to see about something that has been on my mind. The news she had for me was so-so.
It’s better than I feared and still not fantastic.
A word on that: I will get ahead of it. Already am.
But this isn’t about that.
I mean, it is and it isn’t.
It’s about what’s next.
As I was sitting in that waiting room, reflecting upon those 22,645,440 minutes, I of course couldn’t help but consider how quickly they’ve gone.
And? We don’t get them back. But we can look to what’s ahead.
(Doctors’ offices are intense.)
We are each treated to, on average, 39,420,000 minutes.
Still a lot of digits.
But. Do the math.
I’m going to have to make the balance count.
Here’s what we know:
Whatever we are doing consistently, we are getting better at. (Click to tweet)
New neural pathways get etched in the brain, like water carving out the Grand Canyon. Bit by bit. Thought by thought. Action by action.
We begin to master whatever that is.
Which has me sitting up a whole lot taller and straighter. I know what I don’t want want to master (worrying, sitting in fear, judgment, looking back, apologizing for everything...'it's just easier that way') which makes way for what I do want (more joy - which for me includes: connection, generosity and gratitude - more expansion, more meaning, more healing, more decisiveness, more love).
Over to you.
With your remaining millions of minutes, what do you want to become masterful at?
Or, to paraphrase Mary Oliver, once again:
Will you spend them devoted to:
Just getting by? Keeping draining relationships alive? Checking your phone like it’s your job (it’s not)? Saying “I’m not ready yet”, to opportunities? Giving into your fears, distractions, compulsions, addictions and procrastinations? Feeding the worries? Saying “not now”, to your loved ones? Being on time? Raising your hand? Committing to your art? Tending to your body like the temple that it is? Parenting presently? Bringing your light to the dark? Coming home to yourself? Savouring what’s on your plate? Operating from a place of love?
You’re getting masterful at all of those things. Bit by bit. Thought by thought. Action by action.