Time is an unavoidable reality. In The Hobbit, Gollum gives Bilbo a riddle about time; it goes like this,
This thing all things devours:
Birds, beasts, trees, flowers;
Gnaws iron, bites steel;
Grinds hard stones to meal;
Slays kings, ruins town,
And beats high mountain down.
In my opinion, this is a slightly pessimistic view of time, but the inevitability of time passing on is also not something to be neglected. This inescapable truth can be used to kick start motivation or ignite a passion that has become dormant. I have also found that sometimes as time passes I begin to allow it’s incessant march forward to lull me into a state of somnolence. I find myself simply going through the motions and forgetting to embrace the beauty that is life. I have had a wake up call these past couple of weeks in realizing that my time here in Madagascar is almost finished. It is wild to think that a year ago I had just graduated. Upon graduating the whole world is in front of us. We are young, ambitious, and admittedly a little naive, but there is something magical about that. We have so many goals and we fully intend on achieving all of them. It may be a naive belief, but there is something courageous and empowering about unbridled ambition. Coming into this year I had dozens of goals and ideas and then they were flipped upside down once I arrived. That was difficult at first, but realizing what was realistic and unrealistic was a process, and I learned a lot navigating through that. Not every goal I set in my life is going to be achievable, but setting a goal I am certain I can accomplish isn’t much of a goal as much as it is an item on a to -do list. I don’t want to live life checking things on a list. Stretching oneself beyond what they believe they can achieve is in my mind, what living truly is.
As my time in Madagascar is approaching it’s end I want to ensure I make the most of this amazing place and the wonderful people that surround me. I have to take an anti -malarial pill every day. A while back I began saving the packets after I finished them. I thought I would use them as a way to measure or gauge my time here. As I watched the stack of packets grow I began to realize that my time remaining was shrinking. I no longer like the meaning behind this pile of empty packets, so I decided to change it. In each packet there are 10 pills. Each pill represents one day. I am finishing a packet today and tomorrow when I begin the new packet, so will a series of 10-day challenges. I am going to set mini goals that I will attempt to accomplish every day to help me soak in all that I can in the next two months. I may not be able to stop the all-devouring appetite of time, but I can control what it eats.