If I draw one straight line and put your birth in one end and the day you ‘re gonna leave this earth on the other end,
are you willing to spot where you feel you are right now?
Don’t rush to make a logical assumption, to take your age and the statistics about life expectancy in order to make your mark.
For this question you can skip maths.
I asked where do you “feel” you are!
And as this question was thrown to a bunch of friends I began to notice totally different reactions!
Many tend to put their mark close to the start of the line – no matter their age.
A lovely certainty that all the life is ahead of them even if they are close to live half of a century!
Many others do not want to play at all, for obvious reasons.
This line, for me, illustrates one question:
How much time do I have left?
My 40 yrs had been a turning point.
This question has visited to stay and this is not out of negativity or pessimism.
It is valuable and woke me up from years of procrastination.
I made a list of all the things I want/wanted, to experience and I kept postponing till yesterday.
To my surprise, almost all of them do not need a great amount of cash or conditions that I don’t already possess in my life…
I underline this because we tend to think that money is a physical barrier for someone to live “all the things that I wanted to experience but”…
The only barrier is physical and it is the end of time.
Till that day all other barriers are invisible and there are in our mindsets.
Why I plan for the dentist or the hairdresser and I don’t plan when I will go for painting in the woods?
Why I don’t just make time for that?
Why I tend to postpone happiness of the small things?
I could find 100 silly reasons for not doing them and this was happening for many years.
So a year or more ago, I made this damn list (because I am a “list person”and I wanted to draw lines over my goals)
Well… you are gonna think its silly but this is the part of my list that I can share.
And goes something like that:
1. Paint in a public area -alone- no friends around for support.
I was always a very shy person. I wanted so much to take my art supplies and paint at a traditional street of Plaka for instance.
I was so afraid to do that, and I had this paranoid idea that people would even call the police to arrest me …
When I organised the- I-go-for- outdoor-painting day, I was so happy after and all I wanted was to go for more of my list..
2. Have a picnic in nature.
I knew it would give me much joy but I was never willing enough to put it as a top priority.
And things do not happen when you only expect them to happen…
This year my birthday was on Sunday and the weather was ok.
I prepared the fried meatballs (my fantasy picnic always has fried meatballs)
I took the tablecloth (special for picnics with plastic cover underneath – bought several years ago – never used for a picnic) and I was taking no excuse for another delay.
The picnic was marvellous and I enjoyed it more than my three yr old kid!
3. Read all the books I want to read- before I die.
This will not be a thing for a person that does not love books but you, that you have a thing with books you will understand me.
Around my bed and desk, I have small towers of books, half-finished that I wanna read but I never find the time or the energy…
So one day, I picked the first one and planned a small routine: just one line before I go to bed.
The line was actually a page and sometimes even more, and yes it is great: I could fit it in my already tight programme and benefit of reading.
I made it! I have found time to read books again!!
Won ‘t give you the full list. It may include more personal things like telling someone that you love, change bad habits or learn to play beach volley.
The truth is that after I STARTED I could not stop planning the next big – small- thing.
Fullfiling your desires makes you the master of your life.
Every time I see those big YOU ARE HERE marks on a city map,I keep thinking this lifetime line.
Where exactly am I now?
Ok. what do I want to achieve next?
How do I start and what is the first step towards this direction?
I have noticed to my surprise that I think of this line with less anxiety than before.
The feeling of life being short and unfulfilled derives from those things we wanted to do but actually never managed to realise.
The trick is simple. Start from the small. The minimum. Make the decision today.
if your desire is to make an art exhibition at MOMA you will have to start and make a line on paper – and then keep drawing –
I have drawn a galaxy.
It is the one with the endless possibilities that exist ahead of us. And I drew a line over it.
This is our world.
And here is all we have and all we need.