Saturday, December 16, 2006

My promise

Lately I have been obsessed with counting. I have been counting down the days until Christmas, counting the days I have left in my Real Job, counting the days until university begins and counting the weeks until we go on holidays.

Years ago I made a promise to myself not to wish the time away. There is a story behind this vow:

A couple of years ago I was completely sick of work and counting down the days until I started my holidays. A group of us were talking at work and one of the staff members mentioned that as a shift worker in the Hospital he always seemed to be on the late shift, and his fiance worked an early shift at her workplace, so they never got to spend much quality time together during 
the week.

We whinged and bitched about work taking over our lives, and I wished even harder that the time would fly.

When I got to work the next evening, I found out that his friend had called the Hospital in the morning to say that he wouldn't be coming in because his fiance had dropped dead in bed overnight. (In the end it was probably cardiac arrhythmia, but as with a lot of sudden cardiac death the cause will never be known.)

He had performed CPR on her until the ambulances arrived, but she still died. She was 30.

I felt so terrible - I had spent the last day that they had on earth together wishing that the time would go faster. It made me think about how when you wish that the day would fly, you are wishing away the last hours of another person's life.

It also made me realise that you will never really know when your last day on this planet will be. There is a phrase in "Don't Sweat the Small Stuff at Work" which talks about how we should all become members of the TGIT club, celebrating Thank God It's Today. I know it is a cheesy as all hell, but he makes a good point.

If we cherish each moment and squeeze it for all that it's worth, then chances are that we won't look back and regret not living each day as it comes.

In a few week's time I won't have the regular contact with the wonderful people with whom I work, and I'll miss that. So instead of thinking that I only have X days left of work, I'll enjoy the X days I have left to cherish their fantastic company. It's all we really have.

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