Monday, February 27, 2012

Do You Realize?

Do you realize – that you have the most beautiful face
Do you realize – we're floating in space
Do you realize – that happiness makes you cry
Do you realize – that everyone you know someday will die
And instead of saying all of your goodbyes – let them know
You realize that life goes fast
It's hard to make the good things last
You realize the sun doesn't go down
It’s just an illusion caused by the world spinning round
-The Flaming Lips, “Do You Realize”

I know I haven’t posted anything in a long, long time. I have wanted to, but I just can’t find the right words.

I feel like I have been going through a sort of mini-“midlife crisis”. I put those words in quotes because that’s typically something that happens to people when they are much older. I think I have mentioned before, though, that at times, I feel much older than I actually am. It is as if the accident added several extra years onto my life. That period when I was in the hospital and afterwards at home really wasn’t that long, but it was a time when everything in my life seemed completely out of my control. So it feels like forever. It’s as if I fell asleep, went into a coma, and woke up years and years later.

Isn’t it interesting how two people can read the same thing, watch the same movie, or experience the same event and one may be profoundly affected by it while the other gets nothing out of it? Since I was a child, I’ve been fascinated by that.

I am not sure how to describe the many things that I have been thinking about and that leave me entranced. At times, some things I have contemplated have even left me deeply saddened. Other times, it makes me want to make some serious changes—changes in the way I live my life, changes in the way I interact with others, changes in the things I say or I do, and more. Probably the big overarching theme of everything I have been thinking about is time.

A combination of things made me start thinking about these things, including illnesses befallen upon those close to me, questions from a new friend regarding my disability, decisions on what I want to do in my future, patients I’ve met in the hospital, and even movies/television shows I have seen that just happen to strike a chord in me.

What are you doing right now? Are you happy?

Are you surrounding yourself with people that make you happy? Really?

You don’t want to wake up some years from now when you are having a real midlife crisis and ask yourself what you’ve done with your life, why you have that job, if it was worth it working so hard and neglecting your happiness and friendships when you had time, why you’re with that person, why you didn’t appreciate your parents when you had the opportunity—why you made every decision in your life. What will you do when the people closest to you have gone? What do you think they would say to you if they had just one last thing to say? Even more important, what would you tell yourself or other people if you had just one last thing to say?

You don’t want to be lying in a bed, thinking about how in order to get up and do what you want, you’re going to have to transfer on to a wheelchair, and be asking yourself, “Is this it? Is this my future? I can never get back those years I had running and playing? I can never go back? There’s no reset button?”

Value time. Each moment that goes by is a moment that can never be re-experienced. Every negative thing that we bring upon ourselves by the choices we make or the things we say is an insult upon what we have. Every minute you are doing something that doesn’t make you happy is a minute that can never be changed.

Here, try this: stop reading this and just stare at the clock for five minutes. Do it. Come on. It’s just five minutes. Then finish reading the post.

Didn’t that feel like forever? That’s five minutes you could have spent doing other things, but now you will never get back. If you actually did this, I apologize for asking you to do it. It was just to make a point. In the words of Mark Zimmerman, “Killing time is a subtle form of suicide.”


  1. Thanks for wasting my precious 5 mins >.<. JK I would have wasted them on facebook/gchat anyway. JK...I didn't really stare at the clock for 5 mins.
    Your post is about something that we all know about but still manage to forget. I try to remind myself every now and then (when I'm not too busy forgetting), and it helps! Unfortunately..I think as humans..we will always tend to appreciate things when its too late, say all the wrong things to the people we love and care about, and end up making a whole bunch of wrong decisions. I guess that's just being human. But we should have these little "reminders" every now and then to help re-evaluate our lives and see what we could do better so that we can be happier. Thanks for the reminder.

  2. Hammad, it seems like everyone I know, including myself, goes through this kind of thing right around the 25 yr old mark. I think the quarter-life crisis is a real thing, and a good thing that we are having these thoughts at this age, helps you focus what you want to do in life before getting too deep into our careers.

  3. I could not stare at a clock for more than five minutes. Often times, when I'm stumped by a question on an exam, I'll think "damn! Why did I get so distracted when I studied last night?" It's time I can't ever get back that I wish I could.

    Time is such a blessing. Like I've said to you before, you've been blessed with so much in this life, and time is one of the most important gifts you've received. Don't abuse your gifts. Treasuring time not only improves your mental and physical well-being, but it shows that you're grateful. Appreciate the time you have left, and the rewards will be bountiful.

    Muhammad (peace be upon him) said, “Make the most of five things before five others: life before death, health before sickness, free time before becoming busy, youth before old age, and wealth before poverty.”

    So live it up Hammad! You've got your whole life ahead of you.

  4. Nice post! I never used to really notice time, and now that I have Z, I can witness the time flying by seeing her getting bigger and bigger. Scary how time does fly, and you really can't stop just does pass you by, and we need to pause and reflect like you're doing!