As I sit here and reflect on my life, I can’t help but think about the fragility of it all. The fact that tomorrow is not guaranteed and that my time on this earth is limited. It’s a scary thought, but it’s also a reality that we all have to face. Maybe tomorrow?
For me, the ability to fully accept death as a part of life is something that has taken time to come to terms with. But I’ve realised that to truly live, I must also accept that death is a natural part of the cycle. Let us embrace that.
I am huge on memories. They shape us, they make us who we are. If I don’t have memories, did I even exist? They are what we leave behind to our loved ones when we are no longer here. I used to think that I was going to live forever, but of course I know better, so I pay detailed attention to life. Not just to my surroundings. I realise now that I must also pay attention to my brain, the thing that helps me maintain my memories for as long as possible.
It’s scary to think that it can take 15-20 years before any signs of Alzheimer’s appear, but that just means we must do more. We must do more reading, use our cognitive functions, and take mental photos of everything. Not just of things we’ve experienced but of the ocean, the rain, the wind, the sky…these are the things that matter too.
Our hippocampus, the map of where our memories get stored, only gets stimulated with new memories and the brain gets trained with new adventures. We must keep our brain active and resilient if we want it to get stronger against cognitive losses. Brains process nature better than urban settings, so we should spend more time in nature, which also lowers stress levels.
I am very nostalgic about being in nature, and I remember it all from a child. A touch, a sound, a smell all takes me back to that time. Early memories with my sisters, climbing to the lake, catching tadpoles. Surrounded by the green grass of home. I always have my camera, we all do these days, but I need to make sure I experience it all in front of the lens too, like I used to when I was small.
As I think about growing older, what my life will look like, it can be daunting and scary. But I know that the things that scare me will either shut me down or motivate me. As we age, the cleaning out of our brain gets sloppy, leading to inflammation and disease. Therefore, we must introduce simple habits to keep it working. We all know the rules. No stress, minimal screen time, early to bed, wake at the same time, eat well, exercise.
Look how far we have come! The beauty of the landscape of our lives is just stunning. But we must block out the noise, tune into the world, and live better. We might lose memories when we are older, but so much of it is in our own hands. We must eat, sleep, challenge our body and mind, immerse ourselves in nature, and avoid the stress of modern life. We should spend time with people we love and make new memories that will live with us forever. We shouldn’t just be observers of life; we should live our lives out loud and remember every second. Be the best version of ourselves.
We may not know what tomorrow will bring, but we have today. We have the opportunity to make the most of every moment, to create memories that will last a lifetime, and to love with all our hearts. It’s easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of modern life, to lose sight of what’s truly important. But if we take a step back and appreciate the world around us, we can see just how precious life really is.
We may not be able to control when our time comes, but we can control how we live until then. So make every day count, cherish the people and experiences that make life worth living, and live each day to the fullest. Because in the end, it’s not about how long we live, but how we choose to live the time we’re given.