LIMITED YEARS By Baruwa Adesola

This life I live now, I love it. Although I am faced with different challenges at every point in time, and in those moments, within this foolish heart of mine, I think of death; it is all just a spur of the moment. I never want to leave the world which I live in right now. I ask myself why I love the life so much. Despite the hardships and hurdles, why I choose to remain in this blissfully cursed; why I choose to wallow in my misery and not take the easy way out. But then I discover there are a lot of reasons. I love my family, I would not want them to cry over me; I want to love deeply and foster a lovely family of mine- that which I lacked while growing up; I want to become great in the literary world and the law world – a dead person can’t achieve that. I want to tour the world and accomplish several other things beyond my thoughts now.

Despite knowing the inevitability of death and how it can come anytime,

I live as if I were to live forever, no thought of my frailty ever enters my head, of how much time has already gone by I take no heed. I squander time as I draw from a full and abundant supply. However, this abundant supply of time when cut short by life circumstances, what do I do? How do I take it? When the dearth of time looms before me, how do I create an oasis for myself? When the oasis has been created, how do I put it to good use? If I am to die in five years time, what would I do?

”I would sit down and cry: wallow in self pity and live in dejection all day long. I would throw tantrums and hate everyone around me: I would quit school and break up my friendship with everyone. I would live in fear for everyday the day approaches.”

This should be my reaction to news of my impending death in the next five years. This should be a typical human beings reaction to such a heart wrenching news. As the adjective vividly describes, the heart would be wrenched apart for no one wants to die. However, books have been read and movies seen: life circumstances have been experienced and lessons learnt; knowledge has been garnered and wisdom a part of us. It follows therefore that our reactions to things can be affected greatly by what is around us. My actions would therefore be based on lessons learnt and knowledge garnered and not based on what my feelings shouts me to do. That is not to say that I still won’t give in to my feelings. So I ask myself the question again: what will I do if all I have on earth is just five years?

Oh gosh: the tears in my body system will dry up because I would have shed them all; tissue papers in my street will become scarce because I would have bought them all; and food in my house will waste a lot because I would have not consumed them. Who laughs at the news of her limited time on earth? No one!

But while shedding those tears, I will bring into play my rational mind and begin to think. My relationship with everyone will take a new turn.  According to CLARENCE DARROW, in the essential words and writings of Clarence Darrow;

When we fully understand the brevity of life, its fleeting joys and unavoidable pains; when we accept the facts that all men and women are approaching an inevitable doom: the consciousness of it should make us more kindly and considerate of each other. This feeling should make men and women use their best efforts to help their fellow travelers on the road, to make the path brighter and easier as we journey on. It should bring a closer kinship, a better understanding, and a deeper sympathy for the wayfarers who must live a common life and die a common death.

One major thing I will then do is appreciate my family members more, foster a new kind of relationship amongst us. My siblings- show them how much love I have for them especially my little sister. Without her knowledge of my impending death, I will try to set her on her way in this world. Teach her within the short span of my life not to make mistakes I have made and to do more than I have done. My parents: contrary to what used o be obtainable between us I will let them know my innermost self and establish the parent to daughter relationship that was lacking. My friends:  appreciate them more and spend more time with them. Generally; Deal with people in a more understanding way because then I would have realized I don’t know the devil every individual is facing each day. Try to be less judgmental and appreciate people more.

According to HORACE, Remember you must die whether you sit around moping all day long or whether on feast days you stretch out in green field, happy with a bottle of wine from your inner most cellar. Also, a Chinese proverb goes: Enjoy yourself, its later than you think. Do not take life too seriously; you will never get out of it alive- ELBERT HUBBARD. With the help of my friends, I will catch fun to the fullest. How I intend to do that, I don’t know yet. In the absence of monetary constraint, I am going to travel to South Korea and visit all the great sites I dreamt of visiting. Just catch fun in the best possible way I can rather than wallow in self pity and dejection for the death will come anyway.

Like Diane Ackerman said: I don’t want to get to the end of my life and find that I lived just the length of it. I want to have lived the width of it as well. The movie titled: the fault in our stars, made me realize that I am actually scared of oblivion. I always have been. I am scared the moment I am dead, I will only be remembered for a few days and then life goes on for the people that remain. I am scared that even in the few instances and time I am remembered, I am only remembered for the fact that I once lived and not the fact that there’s a legacy left behind. In this light, I will try everything within my power to be remembered for something. The limitedness of time would be an encouragement and a pushing force to get me out of my comfort zone and do all those things I have always wanted to do. I definitely will write a book within this period: a book that will touch hearts and change lives. My blog will become a success. In my place of study, I will put myself into activities that will make me be remembered when that time finally comes.

I have always dreamt of getting married and birthing children. I have always dreamt of having a wonderful family: living in a mansion and being blissfully happy. Of course with an impending death within five years, that seems to be no longer feasible. But I will leave it at its being seemingly impossible and not totally strike it out from my ambitions. If by God’s grace I am able to get married before then, so be it. This may seem selfish, as I will be leaving behind a wifeless husband and motherless children. But at this stage people’s opinion no longer count to me. The fear of oblivion is what drives me. My children will remember me at least for the fact that I brought them to the world and my husband can’t totally strike me out of his memory except he suffers from amnesia. I will continue to be his first wife that died. I am sorry for whatever pain that might cause to both my husband and children and I sure will let them know how sorry I really am for my selfishness.

Within the few years that I will become a lawyer, I will strive hard to get to the top. I will take on any case regardless of the fact that I am going to lose because then such failures are non-issues to me. I will be facing a greater failure and all the little ones will not matter.

Other little things I will do are: learn Spanish and Korean before then; learn a musical instrument; perfect my dancing skills and train my voice. Tell all everybody I have crushed on the fact that I have crushed on them at one point in my life or the other. Tell those I have hated, the same and try to foster a resolution. Passwords to my social media accounts, give it to best friends and password to my laptop so they can reach my articles. Those articles must not die with me no matter how insignificant they are. Write an autobiography as no one can tell a story more than the person that experienced it firsthand.

Above all, I will perfect my relationship with God for although I am scared of oblivion, a greater fear is rotting away in the lake of fire. Knowing beforehand that I am going to die is a privilege worth appreciating. And this privilege will be appreciated by fostering and renewing my relationship with the most high so that upon my death, I will live a second time. Also, all my stipulated intentions can’t be put into actualization without god’s input. I need him to keep me strong, give assent to all my plans and to make my plans boisterous.

In conclusion, according to Edward Stieglitz, The important thing is not how many years in your life but how much life in your years. Although my life would have been cut short, it matters less anymore. All I will do is strive hard to live fully for the remaining part of those years for I can live far more than my fellow humans that live a hundred years within the short span of five years. And according to Zachary Scott, the only things we regret as we grow older are the things we didn’t do. So why not do those things I ought to do so that when it comes to my time to die, all I got to do is die.

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