It's About Time. And Attention.

by Mary Ann Christie Burnside

Two days after I received my copy of "When Breath Becomes Air," the memoir of Dr. Paul Kalanithi, posthumously published on Jan 12, 2016, and a NY Times bestseller within two weeks, I finished it.  I won't say much about the book in this post.  You will no doubt hear about it from others, if you haven't already.  You may even read it yourself, which I fully encourage.

I do want to say that his book brings into sharp relief  the preciousness of life in a heartbreakingly beautiful way.  You might not think we need reminding of this basic truth.  I think we do.  We're always looking for more time, striving on and leaning into later, thinking all the while that we'll have the life we want or the one we deserve someday.  

Instead of waiting to live your life someday. become present-focused today.  You can begin by considering how your day (or life) would change if you approached it with willingness, curiosity, friendliness and gratitude.  If you made a commitment to live the moments you do have more fully, kindly and wisely.  It's a rich exercise which I often take up, on purpose (I could fill a book with my answers).

 Life is precious.  Not the one we will have or might have.  The one we actually have.  It does not come with a dress rehearsal, though we can practice living it well by choice. 

Right here, for now.  

The days are long, but the years are short.

~ Paul Kalanithi, MD