SunShorts: A Life In A Day

Old age is something I don’t like thinking about. As cliche as this may sound, there are some nights where I lie in bed, terrified of growing old. Losing my youth, having my health deteriorate and my skin sag, no longer being able to do everything I currently enjoy— these are just some of the things I fear. I think about my mom (in her 50s) and my dad (in his 60s) and wonder if they ever wish they could turn back time and be young again. I think I would, if I were their age.

And I don’t even want to imagine what life will be like when my folks are gone.

Most days, I feel like I am running out of time. There is so much I still want to do and there is always that nagging feeling that maybe it’s too late. Regret is an emotion I try not entertain, but I can’t help but think that maybe I should have done more earlier. It’s hard to put into words how paralyzing “too late” feels, but I’m sure most of us know what it’s like.

When you’re all caught up in your fears and insecurities, it’s easy to forget how good you actually have it. I often need a reminder on how lucky I actually am and to appreciate what I have because it’s way more than what others have.

In Jolly Feliciano’s short film, A Life In A Day, a terminally ill young boy is confined to his hospital room. From his bed, he sees the sun shine through his window and begins to imagine what life would be like if he weren’t dying. He meets a girl his age, falls in love, gets married, and experiences life as how most healthy, regular people will. In his imagination, he dies of old age with his daughter, her husband, and his grandson by his side. It’s the simplest, truest thing to want— to find someone to love and live. I have a list of things I want to do (e.g. go backpacking across Europe and Asia, build my own home from the ground up, be my own boss) but at the end of the day, it’s okay if I don’t have those as long as I get that.

The world is filled with stories of people whose lives are cut too short by circumstance. There are the victims of the tragic Aurora, Colorado shooting who went inside that movie theater not knowing it was going to be the last day of their lives. Or that mass shooting at a Sikh Temple in Oak Creek, Wisconsin; I’m sure none of the six victims thought they’d be dying that day. Or those Filipinos who died in the recent floods and landslides. It all started out as just another day full of promise for them.

The thought of the unknown is an even more paralyzing fear than growing old and living, before dying naturally. Sometimes, when I am on the road, I think: what if I get into a car accident or get run over and don’t survive it? What, then? What will happen to my cat (IMPORTANT)? How will my family cope with the expenses and the loss? It’s an ugly thought that I have to shake off before telling myself over and over again: I will die when I’m a saggy old bag of wrinkles, white hair, and stories to tell my grandchildren.

But you never really know when it’s your time. We all like to think about the future in terms of how good it could be, but we don’t like thinking about the very ugly and very real possibility of things not working out. So we simply choose not to deal with it. On top of being mentally and emotionally unready for this possibility, a lot of us— myself, included— are also financially unprepared for it. I have a long way to go before I am financially stable and I hate the thought of leaving my loved ones with nothing more than a ton of bills and heartache. The best we can do is to be ready for anything— be it accidents, health problems, or death.

To know how life can be even brighter, please visit www.experiencethesun.com.ph

Sun Life is having a flyaway promo to San Francisco, USA, click here for more details.

This is a sponsored post.

Previous Post Next Post

You Might Also Like


  • Reply dlysen August 15, 2012 at 7:20 pm

    It always good to be prepared. I love the time line of the story because it is very touching and inspiring. Lahat ng success nakita natin pero from the start up to the last part meron talagang pagsubok. Its time to protect your dreams.

  • Reply Sarah August 16, 2012 at 12:18 am

    You’re such a great writer Helga. I’m speechless. It’s as if I’m talking to myself. It really hits home for me right now. For most days, as cheesy as it sounds, these quotes (permanently saved in my mind) really sums up everything for me.

    “Face it, feelings are mutable, and an emotion that seems permanent one minute could be a distant memory the next. Instead of focusing on what could be, figure out what really is and then make your move with haste.” (from a movie I can’t remember)

    And this,

    “Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not; remember that what you now have was once among the things you only hoped for.” – Epicurus

  • Reply April August 16, 2012 at 3:28 am

    “It’s the simplest, truest thing to want— to find someone to love and live.”

    People should be reminded more often to try to live each day like it’s their last – not in the YOLO sense, but more like grabbing opportunities and making decisions that will bring them closer to genuine happiness.

    Lovely writing, Helga. :) Cheers!

  • Reply Dani August 16, 2012 at 8:29 am

    Wow, that was nicely done. Very touching.

  • Reply Lor August 16, 2012 at 7:32 pm

    You’re a really good writer, Helga.

    And thanks for writing this. It helps to be reminded not to take for granted our loves and our lives.

  • Reply Vincent Velasco August 17, 2012 at 6:13 am

    I tweeted something a bit similar, only more short term, two nights ago. The thought of aging, with the pressure mounting to cope with “life” and the lives of people around us, leaves one in a progressively tightening grip on the neck. The end points in mind, as you have nicely put: To find someone to love and live. It’s as tough and complex as it gets. I guess we should just take things astride, and take each moment as a milestone, minuscule as it may seem, grandiose as it may be.

    Great post, Helga. The post felt like one of my self-on-self mental conversations before bedtime.

  • Reply Harvin August 20, 2012 at 9:35 pm

    Well, that’s something to think about.

    I think the key is coming to terms with the eventuality. It’s so easy to say that we should be prepared or have things in order or whatever positive outlook quip people throw out everyday, but sadly in reality it’s not as simple as it sounds

    • Reply Helga August 20, 2012 at 11:07 pm

      Yup, but some people don’t even try to prepare!

    Leave a Reply