All experiences have their time, and their last time for you or someone else. (Photo by Robert S. Fagan)
Today will be your last time doing something, probably many things, but few will likely be monumental. You most likely won’t even notice them as you go about your daily business hurtling into the future.
There will be a last time you work at a certain place, drink your favorite beverage, see a certain family member, neighbor or co-worker, watch a particular show, play a game with a friend, kiss a loved one, hug a friend, eat at a certain restaurant or cook something, hear a joke or song, start your favorite car, celebrate a Holiday with friends, root on a certain team, put down a certain book or enjoy a particular performer or admire a certain flower, participate in a competition, enter your childhood home or school, sleep on a particular bed, walk a certain path, or experience a last day at work. I could go on until I breathe my last breath whenever that maybe. When we stop and observe, many events are similar, but not identical and that’s a richness to our life.
Do you know exactly when those endings are or have already happened? Sometimes you do, but most often they speed by without us even noticing for life is a series of endings and beginnings until we end. Other times, the “last times” come as unexpected shocks, even unadulterated trauma.
Do you hold on to any, most, or all of these experiences as baggage? Alternatively do you feel you have to constantly rid yourself of all of them? There is an emotion associated with each of these experiences that instantly become memories. They can range from absolute pain, nostalgia, sadness, and depression to joy, exhilaration, and relief. I’m not here to judge you or them, but sometimes it just helps to recognize that we all experience “last times” for better or for worse.
Apart from the celebratory endings, it helps to loosen our grips before we have to let go – to realize endings are a part of the natural flow. We can take comfort in that the best things in life have come from experiences and not things, and be grateful for the good and forgiving of the unpleasant. Intuitively each of us already realizes that everything changes and nothing is permanent. In essence, we don’t even own our own experiences, but rather “rent” them.
Sadness and even grief are rich emotions that beautifully define our humanity. Looking back, our memories operate as teachers to things we may want to do better, be more attentive to, or do more or less of. Often the antidote is to serve a purpose bigger than us and do something for someone else. Love people and use things because the opposite never works. And don’t rush, but stop once in a while to savor these moments, the gifts bestowed upon us. Besides, it may be your or their last time.