We often think we are bulletproof. We think that bad stuff can happen to us. We live comfortable lives in nice places. Nobody shoots at us. Most of the time we are safe. We are still relatively young. Plenty of time to just keep your head down and work. Save money for the future. Live for the future.
It sounds nice, doesn't it.
It's not always true. August has in many ways been a month of bad stuff. None of it, I hasten to add, has affected me personally, directly. I've personally not had anything bad happen to me although some things have brought life into a greater clarity.
So this month one of my colleagues, who is a couple of years younger than me (early-mid-thirties) has been diagnosed with breast cancer. She has two young daughters, her parents live on the other side of the world, her husband hasn't got a job right now. It's not the worst possible scenario medically but it's not good. The future is uncertain. She's so young. Her family is younger.
Earlier in the week I had attended the funeral of the mother of a close friend. She was relatively young but she had lived a good, complete life. She met 3 of her grandchildren and had many good things in life. Her children and her husband were with her as she died at home. That was good.
In addition to these two stories I was also saddened to hear of the death of the teenage son of two very nice colleagues. The poor bloke, who I had met once, had been ill for some time. Expected but still unspeakably sad.
This might all sound like a torrent of misery but it shouldn't be. I guess the point of this bit of writing is to say that you should live for just now. Live your life as fully as you can all the time. Plan for the future but do not bet your life on the future. Life is short and transient so it is important to have as good a time as possible while you are alive. Take sensible chances and if you are in a situation you don't want to be in, change it.
I'm a lucky bloke. I've got a great life. I'm well paid, I enjoy my job (sort of), I have a decent flat and I get to do what I want to do most of the time. I realise a lot of people are not as lucky as I am. Sometimes it's good to just sit back and think about how good things are.
So, carpe diem everyone. Just be nice to everyone else while you do it,