When I Woke Up Today: On the Ceaseless Ticking Clock of Time

Dealing with the pain
and trying to make a dream fly.
Taking the good and the bad with a big smile.
Uncertain roads and the thrill of the chase.
Man, I sure felt life’s embrace,
when I woke up today
– Wade Bowen, When I Woke Up Today

IT’S THAT DAY AGAIN. The one on the calendar that was once packed with delight and now dread. Once it meant the exciting achievement of milestones of life (the opportunity to suddenly drive or drink, but never at the same time). Now, it is just another fleeting sunrise and sunset. As the candles on the cake increase so to does the intensity of foreboding that walks step by step along with that one day, out of three hundred and sixty five, that truly, unequivocally and without remorse marks the passage of time.

For all of us, life just becomes so mundane, ordinary, boring. Except for Leonardo DiCaprio. Leo gets paid ungodly amounts of money to make high-quality movies when he’s not flying to exotic locations, hanging out on yachts, driving around in his Range Rover, and wooing supermodels nearly half his age. For every one else, though.

We all get in this routine, this rhythm, and it becomes hard to shake. We live safety in our little bubbles. We wake up, brush our teeth, scarf down breakfast, yell at our children, fight traffic to the office, deal with the attitudes and personalities of our co-workers, answer an endless string of emails, suck down coffee to somehow stay engaged, quickly sneak a glance at Facebook on our smartphones when our bosses leave our field of vision, watch the hands of the clock inch closer to five, fight traffic again, nuke dinner, turn on Netflix, go to sleep. Rest. Rinse. Repeat. The minutes turn into hours, which turn into days, then weeks, then months, then years, and then finally decades.

Somewhere along the way, the joy of life escapes us. We forget that our time on this earth is precious, a gift, that we shant waste. I’m as guilty of this as anyone. I don’t think I can count with two digits the number of days, opportunities, and dreams I’ve let slip through the cracks between my fingers for one reason or another.

If there is one thing I’ve learned, in my three plus decades on this earth, it’s that your life can and will change in an instant and can and will ultimately hinge on one single decision (whether that decision is the right one or the wrong one). We often never see that moment coming.

Life is a road and there is no map. This morning, I passed another mile marker sign. Like every one else, I wish these markers wouldn’t come so quickly. Alas, the runaway vehicle that was gifted to me by the Almighty came only with a gas pedal and no brakes. All I can do is try and keep it between the lines (a challenge I’ve certainly failed numerous times in my life) and hope it leads me toward a spectacular view.

The universe has offered this author way more blessings than he rightfully deserves. I’ve never wanted for anything. I have my health, an incredible group of friends, a family that would do anything for me, a job I enjoy, a song in my heart, and a skip in my step. I live in a time and a place (because, ‘merica) where I can do almost anything I want to do or be almost anything I want to be. Except for Leo DiCaprio, sadly, I will never be Leo DiCaprio.

Today, I will wake up and go fishing with an old friend. This will take place at an undisclosed location, to avoid peaking the interest of both my countless enemies and groupies. I will receive untold birthday well wishes on Facebook from some of the incredible people I have been blessed enough to have had cross my path throughout this crazy thirty plus year journey.

My smartphone will buzz with phone calls and text messages from people whom I genuinely, from the bottom of my heart, love, respect, and admire. If you are one of these people and I do not answer it is because I am at an undisclosed location, possibly without cell phone service, fishing with an old friend. You will hear back from me upon my re-entry into the real world.

Following this weekend, I will return to a job I sincerely enjoy that includes people I also truly love, respect and admire. I may bring my lunch to work, or, hell, I may intentionally forget it in the fridge at my house. I will possibly go running on a treadmill (even if I don’t want to) and feel achievement afterwards. I likely will sit down in front of my keyboard and write more ridiculous ramblings that I may or may not publish on to the internet so that said ridiculous ramblings will transform into just another whispered voice inside the overcrowded and vociferous marketplace of the web.

This week, I might open the Bible sitting on my nightstand and begin reading. More than likely this reading will fill my heart with something meaningful and real. I definitely will hit my knees and thank the Lord that, in spite of all of my daily fumblings, mistakes, neurosis, indecision, pastiness, and fear, that He has offered me the opportunity to breathe in these moments, to dance this dance, to live this life. Today I truly feel life’s embrace.

I’d have to say I’m in a pretty good place, when I woke up today.

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