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Then Agains

“Mortality makes it impossible to ignore the absurdity of living solely for the future.”
― Oliver Burkeman, Four Thousand Weeks: Time Management for Mortals

“We’ve been granted the mental capacities to make almost infinitely ambitious plans, yet practically no time at all to put them into action.”
― Oliver Burkeman, Four Thousand Weeks: Time Management for Mortals

“We all have at least the potential to make more money in the future, we can never go back and recapture time that is now gone. So it makes no sense to let opportunities pass us by for fear of squandering our money. Squandering our lives should be a much greater worry.”
― Bill Perkins, Die with Zero: Getting All You Can from Your Money and Your Life

This blog may feel like a one hit wonder, dancing around the twin themes of memento mori and carpe diem. This is a reminder to myself, blogging steadily along through the living years, to “not squander Time; for that’s the Stuff Life is made of” (as Ben Franklin put it). Stuffing a blog post chock full of quotes is no way to write though, is it? ChatGBT could probably summarize all of my posts into one grand idea, and perhaps one day soon I’ll accept that challenge. But for now you’ve got the single content of a guy finding his way in the world, just as you are and everyone else is, even those people who say they have it all figured out (don’t ever believe them).

I’m pondering that elusive re-design of the blog, finally implementing the things I’d envisioned all along, finally re-introducing email subscriptions and a more elegant reader experience. Then again, I’m pondering finally pulling that novel out of forever draft form and doing something with it (the Muse gave up on this project long ago). Then again, I’m thinking about doubling down on work and really making the next five years something special. And then again, I’m thinking about just renting a cabin in a remote corner of Labrador and watching the Northern Lights all winter (at least until the polar bears eat me). Such is the thing with then agains: they keep on coming up.

Then again, and at the very least, fill this particular time bucket with the stuff that makes the most sense for now. Make something special out of the work that resonates for you, or get off your complacent behind and go find work that feels special. Then again, go use the body your blessed with in this moment for all that you can get out of it. If we’re lucky our minds will be with us until the end, but our health could go at any time.

Doesn’t everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?
—Mary Oliver, The Summer Day

This is the season. It’s not or never for some of those essential experiences. Go dance with life, and make it a song you really love. I’ll do the same. Carpe diem and all that. Let me remind myself and you if you care to listen: some day we’ll run out of thens, so once again, seize the day.

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