On Borrowed Time

by Jason Kotecki on · 10 comments

build-something-wonderful

We went to the funeral of friend’s mom recently. She died sud­denly of a heart attack while at home with her hus­band, who was only into his sec­ond week of retire­ment. When my father-in-law Gary heard the news and learned that they were both in the same age range, he reflected, “Wow. I guess I’m really on bor­rowed time.”

He’s right. But not just because he was diag­nosed with severe rheuma­toid arthri­tis in his twen­ties and prob­a­bly hasn’t had a pain-free day since then. And not just because he con­tin­ues to amaze his doc­tors with how long he’s been able to keep on going. No, he’s right because we are ALL on bor­rowed time.

That becomes obvi­ous when we hear of sud­den heart attacks and car acci­dents. When we are faced with sto­ries of tor­na­does that drop out of the sky, end­ing lives at ran­dom, or see the after­math of trou­bled souls who decided chil­dren are suit­able tar­gets for acts of terrorism.

Life expectancy may be 78 but that doesn’t mean we can expect to make it there.

Gary is on bor­rowed time. I’m on bor­rowed time. And so are you. The real ques­tion is, how are we invest­ing this time we are borrowing?

By watch­ing more TV? Keep­ing busy with activ­i­ties that don’t really mat­ter? Stay­ing put on a career path we don’t really like?

Or are we build­ing some­thing won­der­ful by liv­ing with a sense of urgency and mak­ing hard choices that lead to a bet­ter story and a last­ing legacy?

The choice is yours. But hurry, the clock is ticking.


by Jason Kotecki

Jason Kotecki is an artist, author, and pro­fes­sional speaker. Jason and his wife Kim (a for­mer kinder­garten teacher) make it their mis­sion in life to fight Adul­ti­tis and help peo­ple use strate­gies from child­hood to design lives with less stress and more fun. Stop by www.KimandJason.com for more tips for escap­ing adulthood.
Jason Kotecki
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{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Evan June 13, 2013 at 7:52 am

For me at the moment, caring for those close to me.
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Jason of Kim & Jason June 13, 2013 at 10:11 am

That’s a big one, Evan. Wishing you strength and grace!
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Evan June 13, 2013 at 6:40 pm

Thanks Jason.
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Kaarina Dillabough June 13, 2013 at 9:10 am

I’m attending the funeral today of one of my dearest athletes, 32 years of age. Heartbreaking. Perspective gaining. Live each moment.
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Jason of Kim & Jason June 13, 2013 at 10:12 am

Yikes. NOT a fun day. My thoughts and prayers are with you, Kaarina.
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Rebecca June 13, 2013 at 9:36 am

I often reflect on this. I lost a sister at 16, a son at 23, a mother at 32, a father at 34, a daughter at 35, another sister at 41. Death has always surrounded me and that is why I suppose I tend to think differently than most. I am always grateful and thankful for each day that I wake and get to spend with my family. I am always thinking how to leave this world a better place for those I love. I rarely stress over things because I find 99% of things to be transitory and in the scheme of things insignificant. Given time, things will eventually work out without your worrying and input. I am always kind, patient, giving, even if sometimes it is not reciprocated. I live my life with the knowledge that tomorrow might not come and so I do the very best each day, the tenets of kindness and forgiveness guiding me always so that my heart and mind be always at peace with myself and with others. Yes, we are ALL borrowed time and to live it honorably and with kindness and compassion, I believe is a life well lived.

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Jason of Kim & Jason June 13, 2013 at 10:13 am

What amazing perspective you have, Rebecca! And what a blessing you are to be able to share that with others, not only in word but by your example!
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Yum Yucky June 13, 2013 at 3:24 pm

Trying to make as many happy memories with my family as possible. Their happy smiles and genuine joy mean so much to me.
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David Stevens June 13, 2013 at 7:16 pm

To the point Jason … and an excellent point it is. I often think of my mortality however still think and act as a 20 something … I’m only partially ‘in denial’. I try to value each & every moment and spend time on what is important to me. Thankyou for this.
Be good to yourself
David
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Allan July 11, 2013 at 11:34 pm

Hmmm…borrowed time.

But in a way, are we not all living on borrowed time one way or the other?

As you have rightly pointed out, going to events like funerals remind us of the fickle nature of this world that we live in and the finite nature of our existence -at least right here on earth.

It also becomes a lot more complicated when we see that some go through this existence with a great deal of pain.

But I must say that the most important point is the one you have raised, with the right question: How are we investing this time we are borrowing?
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