My Dwindling Metaphorical Chocolate Bar

Hasnain Walji. Ph.D.

This Ramadan, I’ve reached a profound turning point—a realization that the path stretching ahead is now shorter than the one I’ve already traveled. This moment of clarity hit me with the weight of a profound truth, much like a child who, halfway through a giant bar of Cadbury Chocolate, shifts from gleeful indulgence to a thoughtful savoring of each remaining piece. It’s a realization that has brought my life into sharp focus, clarifying what truly matters. Now, this moment of clarity, though tinged with a whisper of sorrow, sharpens my understanding of what holds true importance in life.

Within the quiet corners of our home, shelves sag under the weight of unread tomes, a library of intentions unfulfilled. The attic, a cavern of forgotten treasures, is laden with artifacts, paintings, medals, and citations—silent witnesses to a life lived in the pursuit of… what exactly? These objects, brimming with stories and soaked in the essence of yesteryears, stand as monuments to moments passed, yet they whisper a poignant truth: their significance, tethered to my existence, teeters on the brink of oblivion. What will remain after I leave this mortal coil, relics destined to be deemed mere junk by the world left behind?

As I ponder upon this, I’m gently reminded that the true measure of a life well-lived isn’t found in the material or the accolades gathered along the way, but in the indelible marks we leave on the hearts of those we’ve loved and the wisdom we’ve imparted to the world. As the penultimate chapter of my own story draws near, may it be these intangible treasures, not the clutter of possessions, that define the richness of a life truly lived.

The endless cycle of gatherings once filled with lively, albeit aimless, conversations, and the ambitious yet fruitless discussions on changing the world, often punctuated by grand visions of ‘boiling the ocean’ no longer hold the same anticipation they once might have. As time marches on, my tolerance for maintaining relationships with those who have grown older in years but not in wisdom has significantly dwindled.

In their place, I yearn for genuine connections with people who navigate life’s highs and lows with grace, humor, and humility. I find myself drawn to those of my peers who value human dignity and the pursuit of truth, whose spirits have been tempered by the trials they’ve faced, leaving them not hardened, but filled with empathy, resilience, and an elegant poise in the face of life’s adversities.

This introspection has served as a reminder that aging is not merely a physical process but a journey rich with emotional depth and a chance for renewed purpose. It’s taught me that each day is a gift to be unwrapped carefully, savored, like those final bites of chocolate, with gratitude for the present and anticipation for what’s yet to come.

This understanding of aging and living resonates now more than ever. It’s not a countdown; it’s an opportunity to embrace life’s complexities with an open heart and a wise mind. It’s an invitation to live each day with purpose, to find joy in the simplicity of a shared moment, and to pursue growth and understanding.

In essence, these golden years, signify a voyage of discovery, a deepening of relationships, and an ever-renewing sense of purpose. It’s about recognizing the beauty in the everyday, embracing the lessons of the past, and moving forward with a heart open to the wonders that life continues to offer.

This Ramadan has been a profound period of awakening, guiding me to a richer, more intentional way of living, where every moment counts, every connection matters, and every day is a chance to live fully, with gratitude and purpose. My goal is to approach life’s finale with a sense of fulfillment, in harmony with my loved ones, and aligned with my moral compass.

Bottom line : This isn’t about a fear of the sands of time slipping through my fingers; rather, it’s about a longing to enrich the time that remains. It’s a desire not just to exist but to live deeply,surrounded by people who reflect the kind of authenticity and depth that comes from true maturity. As I cherish each moment like the last pieces of that treasured Cadbury’s, the idea that we start living our second life the moment we realize we only have one has never felt more real to me. This journey is a testament to a universal truth about the human condition and the imperative to live deliberately, with purpose and connection. For me, this isn’t a period of “aging” but rather one of “gracing.” Do savor, albeit slowly, another bite of that Cadbury’s Wholenut if you enjoyed reading these stray thoughts.

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