We spend a third of our life asleep, a third of our working years at a job, and the other third as we choose. The most important parts of our life, family and friends, often only occupy a fraction of our time.
I’ve been acutely aware of the passage of time lately. Death has been on my mind. Not in a morbid sense but in a “I want to live more fully” way. My day is coming. Am I using my 16 waking hours everyday well?
I bumped into my Dad unexpectedly on Friday. He was having lunch with his coworkers. I was having lunch with mine. As I sat at a distance and watched him talk, laugh, eat his meal...it hit me. This is a huge chunk of his life I have very little to do with.
It’s the necessary third of life that is largely disconnected from the third that we believe is most important. The same is true for me. I can tell him about my job, but very little of the experience is actually shared.
So much of our life happens separate from the ones that are closest.
I’ve been around my dad thousands of hours over the last twenty-nine years, and there was still that hint of unfamiliarity when our work worlds crossed paths. I felt the exact same thing the first time I had lunch at Lacie’s hospital and met her coworkers.
Even with the most intimate relationships in our life, there are complex systems and experiences that seem normal to them and foreign to us. Swirling in between the compartments of our individual worlds are nuances we’ve yet to uncover about each other.
It makes me more interested in my loved ones. It makes me more determined to understand them better, to be curious again. It also makes me want to keep tipping that time scale, to figure out a way to break the rule of thirds and integrate more fully.