Mourning lost time

Sanne Burger

8 May 2022


One day you will wake up to the reality of your life
And you will mourn

You will mourn the time you lost doing things that were irrelevant
You will mourn the many years you wasted on that job you did not like
The many hours of boredom and frustration
Pretending to do something worthwhile
Having meaningless conversations at the coffee table
Faking cheerfulness
Acting useful
Eating too much sugar to get through the day
Getting fat and complacent
Dragging along your clogged up body
Hiding your belly behind your desk
Smiling, hoping nobody would notice your despair

You will mourn all these years of wasting your talents
Not using your skills
All these years of not following your dreams
Just so you could pay the bills
As if paying the bills was your life’s mission

You will mourn the time you lost being in that unhappy relationship
With that person you didn’t really love
but were still afraid to lose
You will mourn the weeks, months and years of mediocrity and compromise
The absent, awkward or dishonest romance
Trying to hide your rampant dislike
You will mourn the bed that stayed cold for too long
While your body ached to be touched
And the resentment almost became an addiction

You will mourn every single time you told yourself you should be happy with what you had
The countless times you told yourself things could be worse
In a sad attempt to console yourself
Ridiculing yourself for wanting true love
While in reality, you were running out of time
And you knew it
Deep down you knew it
You could feel your heart bleeding
You could hear your passion screaming
The caged tiger wanting to escape
Longing to run across the steppes

You will mourn the time you lost with your children
Being too busy while they were growing up
With you hardly noticing it
Being too busy to sit with them and take your time to listen
Too busy to play with them, climb trees and laugh
Too distracted to hold them close
To read them their favourite bedtime story at night
Until they would fall asleep, reassured by your presence
You will mourn being unaware of how important you were to them
Too preoccupied to value every moment with them
Until it was too late

You will mourn the weak moments
Where you gave in to indulgence
Where you allowed abuse
Where you were faking it
Where you gave up on your dreams
Where you gave in to insecurity and self-loathing
Hating yourself for being so weak

You will mourn the lies you were told
And the lies you told others
You will mourn being so full of shame
You will mourn following the wrong teachers
The wrong advice
The wrong authorities
The things you allowed them to do to you
Oblivious of the consequences
Until it was too late
Damage done, no way back

You will mourn letting the days go by
You will mourn settling for less
You will mourn the many hours staring at the screen
You will mourn the grey days of sitting inside
Repeating the same dull routine
Getting through the day like a hamster in a wheel
Waiting until your first drink
Beer o’clock
While allowing your zest to evaporate
Feeling more and more lost

You will mourn postponing chasing your dreams
You will mourn giving into cheap distraction
You will mourn oblivion and cynicism
Fear and indifference
Complacency and giving up

You will mourn all the things you did not do
All the places you did not see
All the people you did not meet
All the adventures you did not have
All the good deeds you did not do
All the opportunities that slipped through your fingers
Because you were too afraid to change

You will mourn living in fear
You will mourn the many times you did not speak up for yourself
The times you were cowardly avoiding conflict
Getting your priorities all wrong
Just because you were afraid to be judged
Afraid to lose something you thought was more important than your integrity
Or your freedom

When you wake up to the reality of your life
You will realize some things can never be reversed
You will realize the inexorable consequences of your choices
The irreversible damage being done
You will realize what you have lost forever
You will realize what cannot be undone
And you will mourn

Don’t let the day you wake up be the day you die
Let it be today
Let it be now
So you can finally start living
It is never too late to wake up
When it happens, allow yourself to mourn

It is good to mourn
It is necessary
Mourning will bring you back to life
But do not mourn the mourning
Otherwise it will never end
Mourning is not about regret, resentment or shame
Mourning is about forgiving and letting go

Mourn the lost time
And then rejoice in the time you have left
It is never too late to start living

Sanne Burger


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