March’s monthly blog theme of “death and taxes” made me stop and ponder both topics. Unfortunately, I’m a procrastinator, so my taxes still loom ahead of me, inducing anxiety and dread. Death is just behind me, since I lost a family member last month. Its long tentacles of grief loosen a bit each day.
After some pondering, I realized that both topics—death and taxes—relate to time. Time is such a precious commodity, and yet so easy to take for granted. Surely, it will stretch out into another day and another and yet another. There’s always tomorrow. The sun will come out tomorrow. I love ya tomorrow. Forgive the Little Orphan Annie interlude. You get the idea.
Taxes make me cherish time because I am grateful for all of the hours remaining until I have to complete my tax forms and get them submitted. Still, that deadline, so firm and unyielding, reminds me constantly of the hours ticking away. Death makes me acutely aware of time too. Don’t we all have long lists of places we want to visit, books we plan to read, and achievements we want to accomplish? It seems I’ve spent my life making plans for what I will do someday. Losing someone reminds me that this life is finite and there is no better time than the present to stop making plans and start taking action.
This month, while worrying about taxes and dealing with death, I appreciate time. I take time to tell those around me how much they are loved. I appreciate the early morning moments that I set aside to write. I value the hours I now have to devote to working for myself and doing what I love. I am less and less content to put dreams on hold and postpone my bucket list.
I don’t think I’ve ever more thoroughly embraced the notion of not putting off until tomorrow what I can accomplish today—in my life, in my writing, in relationships with those I love. Time is precious. Don’t waste it. Don’t wait to say what you need to say. Don’t wait to write your book. Seize the moment and make it count.