Life has a way of going from 100 to zero really quickly. The fascinating thing about this swing is that most people do not realise it until they find themselves on the other side of the pendulum path. While a number of us are so engrossed with the idea of having the perfect career, family and living the life, we very often exclude the need to feel the moments. To feel the rush of hope and purpose and still stay in charge of the present. Of course we cannot deny the need to plan for the future, but of what use is a future if the planner doesn’t live to feature in it? As students, working class citizens, parents etc., we must at all times remind ourselves that life is like a ship sailing on a high sea. At any given time we are headed only in one direction, which means we cannot live in the present as well as the future at the same time, nor can we relish the ride of the present by choosing to remain in the past. Life comes in phases which time calls the past, the present and the future. Isn’t it amazing how the only the link the past has with future is the present? Ever wondered why historical accounts are analysed in light of the present? We live in the present, which is what makes the difference. We do not live in the past and are moments away from tomorrow. Tomorrow is an island, we might never get there. Even if we do, we might not live to tell the tale. Think of all the things you could have done today, but instead chose to leave for tomorrow. Take a look at your bucket list if you have one, look for the places you have long desired to go to. And if you have yet to put together a bucket list, take charge now and get it underway. The other day, I felt a sense of fulfilment and intimacy as I struck off one item on my bucket list. For almost 4 years now, I had wanted to go to “Serendipity”, a café overlooking the Lee for a treat. Countless times I have walked past the alluring café in the shimmer of the moonlight or even stood right outside to catch a glimpse of the captivating atmosphere inside. I would throw different colours of strokes on my imaginary canvas, trying to create the perfect dinner with the perfect person. The perfect time never came! But last Friday did! In that moment I saw the opportunity to enjoy the experience I had only relished as a fantasy, I jumped at it and made the evening count. All that fantasy and pseudo-wet dreams just vanished! Reality overwhelmed my sense of imagination. In that place and moment I realised what it felt like to control time. It is not like we are handed down a compulsory to-do list in life or protocol to follow. We are not some robots that run on some computer codes. We are humans! Powerful and innovative. We are in charge! Sorry, we are supposed to be in charge at least. It is what we choose that we get. We are used to saying “life has left me no other choice” so we quickly settle what we think is the only alternative. What if we choose not to accept the “only alternative”? There is always alternative X! The choice not to settle and stay in charge. We live the life we have and become the choices we made while the choices we never made can only remain “had-it-beens”. As we pilot our ships, we will realise that winds and storms will rise and try to wheel us away from the path we’ve set out on. If I ever had a wish to make, I wouldn’t wish for fancy cars, the most beautiful house or the perfect life. I would wish to go back to different times in the past. Times when I felt in charge. Not to dwell there forever, but to capture a glimpse of how I felt full of physical strength and mastery. I will smile and cheer myself for those moment that I forgot to celebrate. I will take risks and learn a new language. Now is time to fight the fears, face the challenges and enjoy the freedom of being young and single! A friend once said to me “there is an amazing sort of freedom that comes with turning 50, the lack of fear and measures of experience”. I thought to myself, what happened to the past 49 years? The future is only moments away. However, before you get there, you must live for now, earn for now and stay in the moment. I don’t want wake up on my 50th birthday to realise that I could looked terrific in my rags for the RAG week. No, I choose to stay in charge of this moment and you should too. If I don’t do it now, I will never get to do it. It is now or never.