Rather than taking ownership of our lives, we seek out distractions, or lose ourselves in busyness and the daily grind, so as to try to forget our real predicament. Or we try to avoid the intimidating responsibility of having to decide what to do with our finite time by telling ourselves that we don’t get to choose at all – that we must get married, or remain in a soul-destroying job, or anything else, simply because it’s the done thing. Or as we saw in the previous chapter, we embark on the futile attempt to “get everything done,” which is really another way of trying to evade the responsibility of deciding what to do with your finite time – because if you actually could get everything done, you’d never have to choose among mutually exclusive possibilities. Life is usually more comfortable when you spend it avoiding the truth in this fashion. But it’s a stultifying, deadly sort of comfort. It’s only by facing our finitude that we can step into a truly authentic relationship with life.

*Illustration by Francesco Ciccolella