What if it was all on loan?

Photo: Rowan Heuvel

All of it — your home, your family, your friends, your physical faculties, the money in your bank account — even that breath you’re breathing now.

Because it is. It’s all on loan.

We take things for granted. We’re human. Not just the menial things, but the great things.

I remember meeting my wife years ago and praying to the gods above that she would like me — let alone love me and share a life with me and have a kid with me and all the rest of it.

But there are plenty of times when I full-on disregard her feelings and needs for my own agenda. Not maliciously (well, not always), but it’s just one of those things where the noise of life drowns out the serenity of the moment that I should be enjoying with her. Her smell. Her big, brown eyes. Her hair. Her zest for life.

I see her every day. She’s a ‘given’ now. And I’m sure she sees me the same way.

But what if she died tomorrow? What if I did? Seriously. There’s no guarantees that we’ll live through the end of this post I’m writing.

That puts it in perspective. I just want to give her a huge kiss right now. A real one. Not the married-for-seven-years-with-a-kid-and-busy-lives kind. But the kind we used to share on the shore of Lake Michigan when we were dating.

With this perspective, she changes from a ‘given’ to a ‘gift’.

This is just one example of many that you can probably relate with.

Our evolving human brains are wired to want, want, want so hard for stuff — and then, when we get it — we get complacent. It loses its luster. The thrill is gone. Going without it doesn’t even cross our minds until the day comes when it’s… gone.

Enjoying what we have now is something we humans are really bad at.

We should love all of our dear ones, but always with the thought that we have no promise that we may keep them forever — nay, no promise even that we may keep them for long.

My old friend just lost his son. They found him dead in his home. He was young — probably mid-20’s. I knew him. He was a healthy young man whose family loved him. Now, he’s gone.

Please, I don’t write this to freak you out. It’s just an interesting exercise seeing the temporary nature of the things in our life. It can all be taken away tomorrow.

Let your life — yes, the one you have right now — make you happy. It can if you’d just let it. Enjoy it while it’s here. Enjoy the hell out of it. Thank the hell out of it. Hug the hell out of it.

Know that it can be gone. But don’t grip it with white-knuckled fear. If you do this, you’ll strangle and kill it.

Embrace it with love instead. Open-arms. We want to contemplate this, not worry about it. This is what keeps the good stuff coming our way. Temporarily. Again. And again.

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