When much younger, life seemed to stretch out almost to infinity, and there was abundant time to do everything. In those days, I was aware that life had time-limits, yet they appeared far far away. There seemed to be no hurry.
Recently, this body turned 61 years old, and at some unperceived moment in the last few years, a radical change occurred in my sense of time. Now, rather than plenty of time, I have a sense of limited time, and mortality is definitely in view. This is especially true as I've been caring for my 91 year old father for several years and seeing the circle of his life shrink ever smaller. During this time, I've observed the effect that age has had on his body and brain, and it is clear to me that advanced age can bring a definite decline in abilities.
Thinking of limitation is not a happy thing. At the same time, knowing that time is limited is not completely bad. Rather, it's powerfully motivating me to make the most of the time I have, and to eliminate time wasted indulging in habitual negative mental and emotional states.
In the past, I frequently made myself miserable dwelling on useless worries and pain-causing thoughts. Now I'm learning to be aware of what I'm filling my mind and my time with moment to moment, and to let go of destructive mental patterns when they arise so my mind can return to peace and happiness. While I'm not always successful at doing this, the more I practice the better I'm getting at it, and every second reclaimed from self-induced misery is golden.
One thing for sure: Time isn't waiting, and I don't want to delay the task of purifying mind and emotions and fully experiencing life. Truly, there's no time to waste. And, as the great Jewish Philosopher, Rabbi Hillel, once said, "If not now, when?"