And suddenly, I am free.
By now most of you know that I turned forty little over a week ago. Of course 40 years it's an immensely frightening concept; but also, I am grown! Immediately upon turning 40 I found that decisions became easier, my boundaries became clearer and it was immediately, as though the fog had lifted and I could see to the end of the path.
Let's take self care as an example. When you are younger you feel as though you have all the time in the world to catch up on whatever you need to do, to lose weight fast, to eat properly, to take care of your nails and your feet and your hair. Then you turn 40 and you take one look in the mirror and immediately start feeling as though if you don't start taking care of yourself right this minute, then when will you ever start. Any later than today is already too late.
Of course I'm writing this from my newly minted forty-year-old perspective, and I am certain is that I'm not the only one who has been hit by sudden bursts of inspiration upon reaching this huge milestone. But, I do think is that the lessons I am learning are broadly applicable to anyone standing at point A with an aim to ever reaching the point B of their lives. We cannot wait until some indefinite time in the future to start acting and to start growing into the people we want to become. The time is now. Every single moment counts!
I think the concept of time is one that I constantly revisit because I find that it plays tricks on me and it really is mental construct. There is a misconception that we live on Island Time in Jamaica. Miraculously the days are longer, time moves slower and we while away the days drinking rum punch and smoking herb. Not so! For me, time moves slower when I am traveling vacation abroad. Even if it’s an active vacation and I am constantly on the go, I somehow seem to fit more into the average 24 hours than would ever be humanly possible at home.
Well of course the body ages because gravity, our planet's rotation around the sun and our relative position in space. But what I've come to believe is that in our minds, we feel as though we will always have forever, until the day we don't. We have our past memories, but memories are intangible echoes of something that is changeable. My memory of an event in the past could be completely different from the memory of my father or of mother's or my best friend’s. So you cannot reach behind you and touch yesterday. You cannot touch the pain or touch triumph. But what you can touch is the chair you're sitting on; your feet are touching the ground you're walking on and you can feel the wind of today in your face.
So there is really only the now. If there's something you want to be doing for yourself; something you want to be becoming to yourself, there really is absolutely no time like today to start taking that little baby step. Remember you don't have to scale Mount Everest on your first attempt but you can never reach the summit of that grand old mountain without first putting one foot in front of the other foot and keep pushing until you've reached your pinnacle, you look out at the clouds and valleys and precipices below you and smile at your accomplishment.
So start today, do it now. Know I'm saying this to you as much as I am saying it to myself. We have only the moment within which we exist, to make a change and master the beauty of our lives.