Life is so incredibly precious. I’m sure we all know this, though. However, everyone tends to take life for granted. We are all caught up in the mundane day to day activities of our jobs, ‘obligations’, and Netflix coma’s that we forget how precious life truly is. Just take a second to think about how quickly it can be taken away. Admittedly, it’s a grim thought, but it’s still necessary to keep things in perspective.
Life Is Precious
The past few weeks have been tough on us and our family. James and I lost the greatest pet God could have given us. A member of our extended family passed away from cancer. And we tried to save a fawn after it had been hit by a car, but we weren’t able to get to the wildlife rescue in time. All of these events have reminded us that our time on Earth is very limited and finite. We are incredibly aware of this. Which is why we are taking our future and our time back by controlling how we earn our money and doing what we want to do in life.
It is frustrating to think that people are not mindfully designing their lives on their own terms. The blueprint that society gives us is: graduate high school; go into debt for college; get a bullshit job to pay for the debt and useless things; get married; have kids; continue to consume at the highest possible level, forever. Forsaking health, time with family, and passion for more work in the pursuit of more items. Also, importantly, we have to ensure that our kids keep up the same status quo. So many of us are stuck in this mindless loop of spending precious years of our lives working to earn money for things they
probably definitely don’t need.
Don’t Sweat It
According to this CNBC article, a startling 78% of people feel stressed at their jobs. Stress can affect pretty much everything. It easily affects your thoughts and feelings and can lead to depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues. Physically, stress lowers your immune response, which leads to sickness, chronic illnesses, autoimmune diseases, and more. Stress also causes high blood pressure, increased insulin response leading to weight gain, and a number of other things stemming from these negative effects. Stress can also put undue strain on relationships due to the issues listed above and many others.
To add a little validity and motivation to my argument, a recently retired manager from work just passed away. He was only 59 years old, had just retired in the past year, and only had a handful of months to enjoy retirement before his untimely demise. In this article, they explain that if you retire at 55, you’ll have a 25 year retirement on average and live to 80. On the other hand, if you work at my current employer until 65, you’ll last an average of 18 months. For those of you just skimming, that was an AVERAGE OF 18 MONTHS! The article suggests that stress is a big contributor to the shorter life span of people in the workplace longer. In other words, for every year you work past 55, you are taking two years off your life expectancy.
I may have mentioned it before, but I do not handle stress well. I know the negative affects it has on my body, yet I still tend to overthink and freak out about things that are not within my control. When I am incredibly stressed, I can be a nightmare to be around. Luckily, I have a husband who can lighten my mood by helping me see how insignificant the things I’m stressing about are. This instantly makes me feel better and makes me look more for solutions than just being overwhelmed.
Don’t Take Life for Granted
There are more times than I’d like to admit that I find myself taking life for granted. I “wish” my life away, and sometimes don’t appreciate everything as much as I should. However, when I don’t appreciate things, it cheapens my involvement in activities. Like I mentioned before, we’ve had more than enough reminders the past few weeks that life is short and precious. Take advantage of the opportunities you have to experience new things, meet new people, and make new memories.
Even though I find myself wishing the weeks would go by quicker, I know that in a month we will be able to live life on our own terms. We will no longer be beholden to a job that limits our time for life. Many people enjoy their job, which is great! However, many more people hate their jobs and just don’t realize there’s another way. A path without as much stress over finances, deadlines, and office politics. We aren’t naive enough to think that we will have zero stress in ‘retirement’ but the amount will be a fraction of what we encounter at our jobs.
Live in the Now
This is your friendly reminder to make sure you are living in the present. Put your phone away. Put away the distractions. Be present when you are with your friends, family and loved ones. Take advantage of the opportunities you have to be with your spouse or kids. If you really think about, you will never life this moment again. Don’t let it slip away. Take advantage of the present.
Knowing how precious life is, why would people continue to put themselves in stressful environments? Wouldn’t they be doing all they could to make the most of their short life? Especially when it could be taken taken away from us so quickly. We have been paving the way, foot by foot, for a better life for ourselves ever since we realized it was a possibility. The idea that we could be doing what we loved in life, and also be able to travel and spend time with family and friends, was the turning point for us. And we will be able to do all this without having to request a day off here, or a week off there, and being limited by our vacation time.