Sometimes it is easy to forget that you are alive.
In fact, it’s often easier to act otherwise. Take the moment your alarm goes off and you react by hitting the ‘Snooze’ button on reflex. Choosing to stay dormant for another few minutes of pre-wakefulness. Resisting life.
Those few minutes of life dissipate. You’re not really going back to sleep. You’re just lying there caught between two worlds as the live one passes by. It’s the same with flitting away hours on Facebook or watching amusing videos on YouTube. They are rarely hours well spent.
Don’t get me wrong. I have no problem with YouTube or lie-ins. I delayed writing this article to watch a video of Rob Brydon impersonating a small man in a box (no link, sorry) and slept more than eight hours last night, waking up in no hurry at all. I’d had a busy few days without a lot of sleep and chose to indulge myself this morning.
But that’s the point. It’s a choice. Each time you do those things you are making a decision. It’s entirely up to you on which side of the fence you land but you can’t pretend that it’s anything else but an option that you have chosen.
The world will continually present you with such choices. Whether it’s getting out of bed early, pushing yourself harder at the gym, putting that bit more time into a piece of work or making use of your evenings for the things you really want to do.
It is often quite justifiable to choose the easier option. You needn’t justify your decisions to me, of course, but you might want do so yourself. If your priority is cruising through life on an easy ride then you can go ahead and keep selecting the easy option. But since you’ve chosen to read a website entitled The Ephemeral Project*, I suspect that’s not for you.
Instead, you need to catch yourself once in a while. Check your decision making process – Do I really need another 15 minutes in bed? Can I really not run any faster? Is this really my best work? – and choose the right option.
No one’s perfect. You can’t push yourself every day of the week in every choice you make and you’d be kidding yourself if you claimed to. But I hope that once in a while, with the help of websites like this one, you will heed the words Irvine Welsh and choose life.
*This post was originally written for Lee Hughes’ Ephemeral Project