If The Road Ended Today

Eventually the road here ends for all of us… and it begs the question… How would we live our final day if the road ended today? This premise is interesting from both philosophical and practical perspectives.

Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikon 10-100 mm f/4-5.6 @ 12 mm, efov 32 mm, f/8, 1/1250, ISO-400

We often are fixated only on the future, as if our physical existence was never ending. At some point we will all face a gate that ends our experience of the road. When we will meet that gate is unknown. One thing is certain. The more days we live, the closer that closed gate becomes.

Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikon 10-100mm f/4-5.6 @ 10mm, efov 27mm, f/8, 1/640, ISO-160

Our journeys can be full of adventure. Learning. Appreciation. Giving. Hope. If that is what we choose to see and experience.

Olympus TG-5 @ 4.5 mm, efov 25 mm, f/2, 1/400, ISO-100

Or, we may choose a road that is narrow and bleak… full of judgement. Recrimination. And, blame for our own shortcomings.

Ring of Beara Ireland, Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikkor 10-100 mm f/4-5.6 @ 12 mm, efov 32.4 mm, f/8, 1/250, ISO-160

We may spend our time seeking material things in our lives. Hoping to fill an emptiness that lives inside us. Only to discover that these things we seek are transient. The more we try to cram into our emptiness… the greater the emptiness becomes.

Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikkor 10-100 mm f/4-5.6 @ 27 mm, efov 73 mm, f/8, 1/125, ISO-400

Our existence can be self-limiting and constricted. Not recognizing our talents and potential to make a contribution, we may waste them engaged in banalities. Our life purpose can become obscured.

Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikkor 10-100 mm f/4-5.6 @ 10 mm, efov 27 mm, f/8, 1/400, ISO-400

Ignoring the criticisms from others and the limitations that they may attempt to put upon us, allows us the freedom to pursue our life’s purpose. To make the road a little bit better for those behind us.

Ring of Beara Ireland, Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikkor 10-100 mm f/4-5.6 @ 26 mm, efov 70.2 mm, f/8, 1/500, ISO-400

Even when all appears bright we never know what may lie ahead. Understanding and using our talents in positive ways, helps nurture the courage we need to face the unknown.

Ring of Beara Ireland, Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikkor 10-100 mm f/4-5.6 @ 50 mm, efov 135 mm, f/8, 1/640, ISO-400

And, more importantly… the challenges that we know are on our path… and the effort it will take to overcome them.

Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikon 10-100 mm f/4-5.6 @ 100 mm, efov 270 mm, f/7.1, 1/200, ISO-800

We may need to take time to heal… while still maintaining our determination to continue.

Kaka Point, Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikon 10-100mm f/4-5.6 @ 10mm, efov 27mm, f/8, 1/1000, ISO-800

If our road ended today… we would fill our day with important things, not trivialities.

Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikon 10-100 mm f/4-5.6 @ 17 mm, efov 46 mm, f/5.6, 1/500, ISO-160

If our road ended today… we would appreciate the grandeur that is all around us.

Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikon 10-100 mm f/4-5.6 @ 10 mm, efov 27 mm, f/16, 1/2, ISO-160

If our road ended today… we would slow down and savour each and every breath. We would tell the special people in our lives how much they mean to us. And, how much we love them.

Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikon 10-100 mm @ 10 mm, efov 27 mm, f/8, 1/50, ISO-400

If our road ended today… we would want to experience the serenity that comes from the knowledge that we lived our lives well… that we did the best we could. And, that we made a difference… if only for a fleeting instant.

Olympus OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko 12-100 mm f/4 IS PRO @ 12 mm, f/8, 1/10, ISO-200, image processed to taste from RAW file

Depending on how we have lived, serenity may not greet us at the end of our road. Should that possibility exist we have the metamorphic power of choice to alter our path. We can begin anew… here and now… while we still have the time to do so.

Technical Note

Photographs were captured hand-held using camera gear and technology as noted in the EXIF data. Images were produced from RAW files using my standard process.

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12 thoughts on “If The Road Ended Today”

  1. I started to follow your wonderful blog because you are an Olympus user at its best. But now I understand why your pictures are that great…. wise and with that special philosophical twist. You gave me wonderful bites to chew on…. I hope I will recover soon
    from your input 😎😎 ……
    May you and your family stay healthy
    Claudia

  2. Well done, Tom!

    As a psychologist, I have always been intrigued by the motivations that I, and others, have used to define the directions of our lives. And I have seen way to many of those directions lead to depression and despair. Certainly living each day as if it were your last is a fundamental principle for happiness.

    In order to avoid distractions and pitfalls along the way, I would add another maxim. When dealing with difficult circumstances, ask yourself if it will matter in your life five years from now. If not, put it aside and muddle through without additional worrisome stress. If yes, put your energies to work to create the best outcome possible. However, I have found for both myself and my clients, there are very few issues that we have to deal with that will really matter five years hence.

  3. Thanks for this article. You have made a difference to me. I have been a MFT user for a decade. You have helped by seeing beyond the hardware and into what matters – getting great images.

  4. Hi Thomas, sharing your thoughts on that long trip called life and I enjoyed the images of the photo story.
    Regards,
    Mauro

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