I saw a sign the other day that read, when was the last time you did something for the first time. It was an interesting thought and maybe I’ll do a post on that topic at another time. But it made me think about changing the question to, when was the last time you did something and didn’t know it was going to be the last time.
Now I’m not referring to morbid thoughts like people dying and not knowing that you wouldn’t see them again. This is more about everyday life and the things you’ve done and thought you’d do again.
As an example, I played a lot of basketball when I was younger. I don’t remember the last time I walked off the court of an organized game that meant something, complete with refs and scoreboards. I only know that I never thought that would be the last time I played in a competitive league game. But I wonder how I might have felt or reacted if I did know.
These kind of things happen in our lives every day and at some point sentimentality may start to creep in. Maybe it’s a special place you’ve visited several times and thought you’d return to one day. Or maybe it’s the last time you held a baby in your arms, or rode a bike without holding on to the handlebars, or played in the mud, or drove a car, or played catch with your son or daughter; or any number of things we always did and thought we’d do again.
And then we don’t.
Maybe it’s because we get older or blow out a knee or an arm, or never get back to that special place, or don’t want to get dirty or fall; or maybe we just think the time for some things has passed. There could be any number of reasons. But this isn’t about reasons. It’s about not knowing and how you would react if you did know.
But maybe not knowing is the way life should be. Maybe it’s best to think that whatever we’re doing today, we’ll be able to do again tomorrow. It provides hope and continuity of life and it’s not depressing. So I suppose it’s okay. I’m sentimental by nature so I understand where these thoughts are coming from.
But sometimes I wish I would have known. I would have liked to take in that moment and hold onto it for a little longer instead of letting it go so quickly. I don’t suppose it would have changed anything and I don’t imagine my life would be any different, except for some memories that might have run a little deeper.
Still, I think I’ll linger a bit longer next time and take a closer look around. Because you never know if or when you’ll be in that place again. Might as well allow my mind to take the best possible pictures.