There Goes Another Year

Last Sunset of 2016. Bogor, December 31.

If you’re on Facebook, and you habitually post something on your timeline every day, after a few years you will end up with a collection of daily happenings in your life. And Facebook makes sure that you notice that. Every day they picked a selection of events from the past years that happened on that very same date, and remind you about them. They go back up to the very first year you joined Facebook.

This is fun. I actually look forward to getting my daily memories. Facebook usually pick posts with pictures to feature in your memory of the day. It is fun to look back and remember when things happen in the past. The parties, the hangouts, even to the dark, sad moments in your life.

The worst thing about those memories is that you are suddenly aware how far back something had happened in the past. You thought that it took place only a few months ago, and then pop! It appears in your Facebook memories, which means that a year had passed between now and that event in your life. It wasn’t a few months, it was 12 months ago!

As you scroll down, you discover other items in the memories that happened two years, three years, four years – up to 2004. Then it dawned on you that it had been 3 years ago since the last time you hung out with your college buddies. The last New Year’s get together your family had with Uncle Bob before he passed? It was 5 years ago. The first time you took your one year old baby to the park? It was 8 years ago. She is in third grade now.

Facebook remind us how fleeting our lives are. At times, the realization is as jarring as checking your bank account balance before making an important purchase and found there’s only a few dollars left. A decade has passed, and you haven’t even done anything about that promise you made just before your wedding day.

Suddenly it’s already another New Year’s day.

At times I feel like I’ve been had. There are a lot of things I didn’t get to do in the past year, and suddenly it’s over. I wanted to stop time, or at least to make it go slower. Or to let me go back a few days. But I already knew 365 days ago that the year will be over, and still I didn’t do those things.

The best thing we can do once we got the shock from the Facebook memories is to learn the lesson. Yes, time doesn’t wait for no one. So don’t wait for time. Do it now.

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