On Sunday, I did a 50 kilometer loop on the bike. Good solid pace. Beautiful, sunny day. Very little traffic.
Basically, a perfect ride. And what was I thinking about as I was riding? How much longer. Not how much longer until I finish the loop. No. How much longer will I be able to ride?
The crazy part of being in your fifties is that mortality is no longer an abstract concept. I hope to ride for at least another 20 years. But that might not happen. I hope to play guitar just as well as I do today for at least another 20 years. But that might not happen. I hope to remain active in life, healthy and involved in my faith, my family and my community for at least another 20 years. But that might not happen.
In a way, knowing that time is limited heightens the awareness of the special moments in life. When I finished the ride, I lifted my bike to my shoulders to walk the thousand feet or so up the hill to the house. I told myself to remember this moment, this feeling. The feeling that you get when you finish a ride. The sense of accomplishment and the sense of well being.
And although I am way over-committed right now with too many things on the go, I have to remember that no matter how much longer, I need to stay in the moment. To remember the wonderful people and experiences I have in my life today.
How much longer really doesn’t matter.