Manila– Time is limited. Life is limited. I share this mindset with a lot of people I know who take advantage of our limited time and life to do many things, often simultaneously.
While writing this, I realized it’s the only time I got to sit down and sort through a gazillion notes, recordings and transcripts that I have to put into written and packaged pieces so that I can start easing a huge writing backlog. I feel like some of my mental notes will disappear slowly if I procrastinate.
Recently, I traveled and crisscrossed through a number of places and into a mix of issues – from substance abuse harm reduction to talking to people at the grassroots about their health behaviors, to international development organizations’ drug policy discussions, and then anti-tobacco advocacy.
There were also child rights and sexual rights thrown in and giving a talk to three sets of participants on a more responsible media reporting about mental health and suicide – the weightiest one on the list.
Four months ago, I abruptly quit a news editing job in the country’s most widely circulated newspaper to go back to independent journalism and other related work such as communications.
As I’m always restless and can’t stay in one place for a long time, I had to give up the daily grind. But with the freedom I regained from a so-called nine-to-five job (although in newspapering, it often doesn’t work that way) came the pressure of hundreds of responsibilities.
The amazing thing is, I’m loving it. I’m tired, but I like the feeling of truly living life to the fullest and purest. I’m working under the idea that life is a one-time offer and, if you don’t delight in it, you’re suddenly old in the blink of an eye. Life shortens with each passing day.
Well, I feel old and am getting older. But when the adrenaline rush sets in, I feel like I’m a daredevil on the edge of a pathway that keeps narrowing down. This is one of those moments when I think about the worst thing that can happen, against the backdrop of pleasant experiences and having to watch it play out. The next thing can be scary or funny and life can change.
This is also the time when friends weigh in. One advised me not to break my back, another said getting busy is good as long as I take care of my health. Still, there’s one who constantly checks on me about which Netflix TV series I’m currently watching.
When we run out of straws to grasp and take the high road too many times, experiencing the joy of being tired from accomplishing something is indeed a good thing, so take it in. As the saying goes, “life is too short to be unhappy.”
Diana G. Mendoza is a longtime journalist based in Manila. Send feedback to email@example.com.