How to Say Screw It & Live Brilliantly.

Via on Oct 5, 2013

We are all insignificant.

We are born, have consciousness and then we die. That is, if you believe the same thing I do: after we have each finished existing, there is nothing. Each life blinks on and after a short time, it blinks off.

“There are three deaths. The first is when the body ceases to function. The second is when the body is consigned to the grave. The third is that moment, sometime in the future, when your name is spoken for the last time.”

~ David Eagleman

Our miniscule existence on this planet consists merely of small little lives making a small impact on this inconsequential planet. (Please don’t misunderstand—I believe our impact on this earth is huge, if you forget to consider that something else exists besides us and this planet.)

In comparison to the expansiveness and age of our universe and beyond, our lives don’t even equate to the blink of an eye. They don’t equate to a fraction of a millisecond. We are tinier than the thing that gives us the ability to exist in the first place—the atom.

When we gaze at the sky and reflect on how small we are (even if we don’t quite grasp how tiny), we experience moments of awareness. We wonder: what really matters?

Love matters. Joy matters. Health matters.

Pushing paper in an office? Finishing all of the laundry? Yoga video disputes? None of that matters.

But, inevitably, reality steps in the minute we stop looking at the sky to quickly remind us that in order to enjoy any part of life on this planet (at least, the version of life that humanity has created for itself), certain things, like a job, do matter.

How eye-opening it is to realize that if everyone—every single being on this planet with a self-identity and opposable thumbs—would see that nothing matters except making the most of this tiny bit of time we are alive, we could all collaborate to live to our full potential, with the most joy, health and love we can muster. Fuck the anger in politics and greed.

Since that isn’t likely to happen any time in this millennium, as we are a rather small choir and this is a rather large (relatively speaking) auditorium, we can’t yet quit our jobs to go frolic in a field of flowers and kittens.

sisters jumpingSo, what is there to do?

Take part in, enjoy and make use of this fraction of a millisecond we call life. Along with that, leave the place a little tidier and nicer for the next round of beings, so that they can do the same.

Life inevitably changes and what happens in the next five minutes will likely not matter a year from now (unless it does, but we can’t predict or prevent that), never mind 100 years from now, or 10,000 light years from now.

 

None of it matters. Move on. Life is, as we’ve already discussed, way too short.

The bottom line is this: if we’re planning on hanging around for the entire duration of our natural lives, what’s the point in being miserable?

How to make the best of our little existence:

Organize an impromptu potluck.

Say screw the laundry and go shopping at a thrift store for some new additions to our wardrobe. (Yeah, we’ve got to wash it anyway, but this is added motivation!)

Take a walk at midnight with our favorite playlist.

Ignore the dirty house, grab a coffee and go outside to appreciate the sun instead of cleaning. Tell our guests that we lost our broom and mop. “Sorry, not sorry.”

Pick up litter, whenever you see it: on a walk, at the mall, in our neighborhood, at a restaurant. Recycle it, if you can. It will feel good to do good, this is a promise.

Play a board game (or Lego, or play dough or color, draw, craft) with our kids. No television, no iPhone, no distractions, just be there. Enjoy.

Book a last minute trip. Go somewhere you will learn something. Fly somewhere exotic, or hit up a town 30 minutes away, it doesn’t matter, just get out and go somewhere new.

Had a falling out with someone dear? Let go of why we’re pissed. Who cares? Send an email with these words: “I’m sorry. I miss you. Let’s make up. Dinner?”

Take a “sick” day and read a book, front to back, in bed, with tea.

Visit Grandma.

The point is to live. Have a laugh. Be brilliant.

Do something—anything—that makes this place a little better for all of us.

 

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About Catherine Beekmans

Catherine Beekmans is a shy, friendly Canadian living in a small house with her nerdy Dutch husband, two nearly-perfect children, two kitties and a goofy dog. Cat spends her free time reading, growing vegetables and cooking them, traveling and learning life lessons courtesy of and along with her family. Cat began contributing as a typo vigilante and now eagerly serves as an editor, writer and student of the mindful life. You can connect with Cat on Facebook and Twitter.

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18 Responses to “How to Say Screw It & Live Brilliantly.”

  1. Mary says:

    Cat, I effin’ LOVE this! Thank you! ♡

  2. Esmé Comfort says:

    Beautiful! Thank you.

  3. Denise says:

    Don’t like this article, had good points of course but I get a negative vibe from it.

  4. NDG says:

    I have a Great Aunt (the half sister of my Great Grandfather) named Anna Mary – she was the daughter of "the first wife," of my Great Great Grandfather that was older than the rest of her half siblings. She left Bucyrus, Ohio and ended up teaching in Hawaii for years in the 1920s (at an all girls school) at which point she would make frequent trips to Paris and eventually became and expat leading up to WWII. When asked to leave for her safety, she ended up living out her days in (with all due respect) Ft. Wayne, Indiana.

    Now, that's all I know. Just the very little from her obit – no images yet. A grave marker in Ohio. That's it. No children or spouse. I know her name and it's on my Ancestry.com account, but we know that can probably go away. In 40 – 75 – 125 years – poof – that's it.

    We are only here for a short time. It's important to keep that in perspective. As cool and nice as I am, I too will cease to exist. Lincoln has his image on money and the side of a mountain, but he, too can be wiped from the face of the Earth in 250-500 years.

    Which begs the question, why do we continue to fight and kill and stress about day to day life on this pale blue dot?

  5. Albert says:

    A light year is a measure of distance, not time . . .

  6. Mary says:

    How can I contribute as a typo vigilante???

  7. Mary says:

    Love this article. The thing you manage to convey is that it doesn't really matter whether or not we're significant. When we take a break from the current dogma that everything hinges on what we do or don't do, that we must at all costs live purpose-driven lives, then we can step back and realize that the only thing that really matters is if we can make the trip just a little more wonderful for everyone around us. Love is the only thing that lasts. We are one.

  8. victusforlife says:

    Thank you so much Cat! This started to ignite something in me that's been somewhere deep down there and has been lost for a very long time. Life.

  9. Rachel H says:

    You articulated the same thoughts I have in such an eloquent and inspiring way! And, I appreciate that you included the contradiction between how insignificant some things are in relation to all that is…yet, the requirement to tend to those things out of practicality in order to live on this planet. I'm still trying to find a balance. Thank you!

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