At some point, the yesterdays are more than the tomorrows. I don’t mean this to be pessimistic. My awareness of the finite is a forcing function to savor the things I take for granted. It’s liberating and sharpens the senses.
Maybe it’s an immigrant thing, but I had a moment when I was boarding a plane to fly back to the states where I thought about this. I’d spent a couple of days in South Africa where I grew up and was now heading back to my wife and kids with all the goodness of routines and rituals that come with a busy, growing family. I wondered if I could count on my hands how many more times I’d be back to Africa. In my twenties, thinking about a finite number ahead of me never crossed my mind, everything was limitless. Now, I can count the trips ahead of me on my hands.
My hometown airport doesn’t have jetways, which means passengers get off the plane on the tarmac and walk to the arrivals lounge. I’ve now got into the habit of touching the tar after I land. I think it’s a way to pause and connect with the place. A ritual to remind me that it’s real and help me remember.