It’s a common mantra, where people honestly believe that they will live long enough to get everything done.
That is, until you go to a funeral for a person who died long before they should.
Funerals are by definition sad occasions. It is a time to reflect on the life of the deceased, a time when everyone who knew them come together to celebrate their life, a lifetime spread over many, many years.
It is also a time when the whole family comes together, like births and weddings, where we discover the changes to those we haven’t seen in a long time, particularly where the family is spread out all over the country. And, sometimes, surprise new members, young and old.
I’ve certainly had a few of those.
It can also be a moment in time where you begin to reflect on your own mortality, especially where the deceased was in their 40’s.
The fact is, death can strike you down at any time. While trying not to be morbid, with the threat of COVID hanging around, and the fact it does not discriminate age wise, it’s not possible to discount the possibility that it might happen to you.
And, sitting in the back row, listening to the eulogy, you can’t help but think about how much or how little time you have left, and, quite possibly, what it is you have or haven’t done with your life.
Perhaps the question should be, are you going to put off till tomorrow what you can do today.
The sad fact is, we all do. We all believe we will have plenty of time to get things done. We live by a number of rather interesting mantras,
- old enough to know better and young enough not to care
- don’t do today what you can do tomorrow
- there’s plenty of time to go on that overseas trip
How many people have died young, and done nothing of what they had planned to do later in life?
I know that I was one of those people, thinking if I worked hard, by the time I reached retirement everything would be paid off, the children would have moved on, we would have enough money to live out our days in relative comfort, and we would have the time to see the world in leisure.
Then, something changed.
For our 30th wedding anniversary, we were going to go on that once in a lifetime holiday, before all those goals had been reached. Perhaps we had an inkling that we might not be able to travel when older, that if we didn’t do it then, it would never happen.
It was perhaps fortuitous we did.
Now past retirement, older but not necessarily wiser, travelling anywhere is difficult, and our financial situation is not what we had planned, and all of those dreams would have been shattered had we not moved everything foward by about 20 years.
And with the global pandemic starting about the same time we originally planned to start our worldly travels, had we stuck to the plan, it would never have eventuated.
Was it good management, foresight, or just good luck?
We’ll never know.
But something I do know, and is the best advice I can give anyone.
Don’t put off today what you can do tomorrow.
No one realises tomorrow never comes.