Life is too short, live in the moment and make best of it

The writer says she prays that the rest of our days are spent choosing experiences, things, and people for what they mean to us and how they make us feel as opposed to people who may see our pictures of those experiences.
The writer says she prays that the rest of our days are spent choosing experiences, things, and people for what they mean to us and how they make us feel as opposed to people who may see our pictures of those experiences.
Image: Livio Monti \ 123rf

Most of you would have resumed work already. Welcome back!

Most of you would have seen as well the many fatalities that befell a lot of people during the festive season. Road accidents, mind-boggling crimes, natural causes and bizarre occurrences came during the festivities and made themselves at home in families and broke many hearts.

Yet, here you are, breathing, at work, looking for work or about to accompany a young matriculant to settle into a place of higher education.

We haven't a clue how death works, how it chooses where to visit and which life to snuff out. All we know is that it is always lingering and at any given moment it could be one of us.

I do not mean to be grim this early in the year.

Death is not the only thing that happened during the festive season. Social media feeds were full of people in beautiful holiday spots and others making the best of their time where they live.

It's interesting watching the places that people chose to visit and indeed the many activities that people engaged in.

But I began to pick up a worrying trend on the pictures as they came up and down the feed.

I was seeing, in the pictures, how more and more the focus was on things as opposed to people.

For example, people would post a bottle of a champagne brand instead of a picture of people drinking.

A picture of the business class cabin, instead of the person in the seat. The more I observed, the more I realised there were barely people in the pictures that were being posted. It got me thinking about the lives we choose and what the motivations for choosing them are.

Holidays aren't the only thing.

I'm also quite worried about the growing trend of people doing nice things for the people they love, recording their very private reactions and posting them on social media. Why?

At what point during planning this really heart-warming surprise are you thinking, "I can't wait to show people who don't actually really care about my life"?

Many of us do this, in one way or another, of limiting our experiences because we are already searching for a response and validation from outside. We are always taking away from the memories we could be creating and storing because we are in a hurry to get the perfect selfie, for social media.

My friends know that I absolutely refuse to spend an hour of an outing chasing after them to get a perfect shot. I'll take pics of you for 10 minutes, but then we need to return to the business at hand urgently.

Maybe showing people the brand of champagne you are drinking is a better experience for you than actually drinking it, I don't know. In fact, I don't know much.

What I do know though is that death visits all families, and one day the person it will come for is you.

That day could be tomorrow.

I pray that the rest of our days are spent choosing experiences, things, and people for what they mean to us and how they make us feel as opposed to people who may see our pictures of those experiences.

I hope that we will unlearn to honour the magnetic pull of social media and learn to stay in our moment with the trust that indeed any person who needs to be in that moment already is.

I mean we may be heading into the third world war, for crying out loud. The only moment we are certain of is this one we are in, make the best of it. Stay in it. Happy New Year.

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