With one hour left of a particularly stressful day at work, I was desperately wishing the hour away. Wishing 5pm to arrive swiftly so I could shut everything down, including my busy whirring mind, and embrace the evening ahead with open arms.
Acutely aware of how precious life and time is, I am not normally one to wish time away. But sometimes it’s easy to get caught up in things and forget. Catching myself doing it at 4:01pm on this busy Thursday I started imagining: what if this was my final hour? How would the value of this hour change if I knew it was my last one?
I guess we never know when our last hour will be. We may have an inkling – it may be a fairly well-known time limit, imposed by a degenerative disease or illness – but it also may be sudden, with life snatched away from us before we get a chance to prepare.
So what if this was my last hour? Does everyone who means so much to me know how much I love them? How would I be remembered? Had I done all I could to help and make a difference?
All these thoughts swirling round my already buzzing mind gave sharp focus to the dwindling minutes left in this final hour.
I found myself quickly reframing my thoughts, focussing instead on how lucky I was to have this hour, even if I was knackered and a bit stressed from a busy day.
And so I savoured it. Took deep breaths, felt how alive I was and thought about all the people I really cared about. Funny how simple life is when you strip everything down to what really matters. The stress of the day seemed so slight and trivial in comparison.
Every single hour we have is so precious, and yet so easy to wish away in anticipation of more exciting (or relaxing) future plans.
I am all too easily excited by future plans – dreaming big as to what they could be, getting a real rush from the future reality in my mind. But I also have to remind myself that although the anticipation of the future can inspire and motivate, sometimes it’s important to focus on the only time we really have: the present moment.