Burning the candle at both ends

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It begins innocently. We take on more and more with each passing day and begin burning that candle at both ends, always with the thought in mind that never the twain shall meet. But they do meet, and someone always gets burned.

burn the candle

In today’s economy and struggling markets people take on more burdens to cement themselves to their jobs. Fiscal responsibility tends to equate to physical and emotional exhaustion but we do what we have to do to secure our stability. It has become a dog-eat-dog existence.

Although we may see that candle as everlasting and continuous, we lose a little piece of our sanity with each drip of wax that is dispelled. A layer of our resolve, like the dripping wax, is melted away from us and collectively pooled into a well of fatigue. The moments of freedom we so carelessly took for granted are a thing of the past and the work day increases in its longevity.  As the winds of our reality fan the flames, the candle burns faster at both ends leaving us with more of a sense of panic and less candle to burn. The days seem longer, the nights seem shorter and we strive to hold fastidiously to our workaday reality.

It is our individual responsibility to snuff that secondary flame – to only allow ourselves one wick with which to burn our energy. If we allow others to dictate how much of the candle we burn at one time we may as well cast ourselves into the inferno and spontaneously combust.

The purpose of a candle is to burn for long periods of time, from one end only, and cast a glow of light that is warm and comforting. Burning that candle from both ends decreases the amount of enjoyment that candle is meant to purvey and exponentially diminishes the enjoyment that is elicited from that one single flame.

Strike your match carefully.  Predestine how much of that candle you are willing to ignite and at which pace you choose it to soften and dissipate.  If you light it sparingly, it will last much longer and the enjoyment of that flame will last that much longer.

Every moment is important

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I was reading the new posts on Freshly Pressed and came across this post from grieftastic about Watching a Friend Die on Facebook.  It was heart wrenching and, in reading all of the moments so poignantly described, it really made me realize that every moment is important.  Every smile, every laugh and every argument combine to define a relationship.   And if we take any of those moments for granted, we are missing the true meaning of that relationship.

I posted yesterday about my best friend who was tragically taken from us far too soon.  She didn’t have a debilitating disease, we didn’t get to mentally prepare for her passing – she was just gone in an instant, and we didn’t get to say goodbye.  But every moment I had with her was precious, every moment is now a treasured memory and every moment was time I will never get back.

I was in the hospital when my dad took his last breath, but that is not the moment I remember.  The moments I cherish, much to my surprise, were the 6:00 am wake up calls on Christmas day.  For the years he was alive, I dreaded the thought of the phone ringing at that ungodly hour, but now, those are the moments with him that I miss the most.

Life is unpredictable and life is callous.  Often the things that we think will last forever can be taken in a second and the things we think should be easy are the biggest challenges.  I have a sadness for people who will never admit to making mistakes.  It is through my mistakes that I have learned more about myself and realized how truly important those moments were.  They helped to shape the person I have become and they will forever be a reminder of the person I could have been and not the person I am now.  They were important moments that gave me time to choose which person I wanted to be.

Every moment in our lives gives us a choice, but that moment will never again present itself in the same way.  It is a singular time in our lives – no two moments will be exactly the same.  You may watch the sun rise every morning for a week, but there will something unique in each moment of each day that will define that sunrise.

Sunrise

Every moment is important.  Knowing that, and truly embracing that, will help us take the time to ingest those precious seconds.  The things that you say cannot be taken back.  The things that you do will leave lasting memories.  And the things you experience will be a part of your history.  Choose wisely in your actions, for they will be the things that people will remember when you’re gone.

Audience of one – I wish it were you

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