Time is perhaps the one thing that unifies us all—our workday, our family moments, our lives. For me, Time—or the lack thereof—is why I do everything I do, and there is a lot.
I grew up in a less than hospitable home, on an even less hospitable street in the Southwest of the UK. From a very early age I was aware death was inevitable and, in my case, possibly right around the corner. So, I made up my mind to fill my life with as much as I could; take every opportunity and never waste a second.
It makes sense then, that by the age of fifteen I had won every award my school had to give, by twenty-four I had tagged sharks in the USA, lived in Portugal, and obtained my bachelors and my doctorate, and by thirty I had become a medical director for a major pharma company and moved to Switzerland. Phew.
But this was not enough. So, I took a job in Singapore, learned Muay Thai from Lumpinee Champions and completed my EMBA.
Yet, for all these achievements, something always niggled at me: when I die what would I leave behind? At the end of the day, no-one will stand at my grave and say what a good pharma executive I was, or swoon over the many letters after my name. No, in the long expanse of Time after my death, I would leave no mark.
At this point it is necessary to tell you that my two children are my world. Every academic and sporting achievement pales in comparison to having created these two little beings. Currently, they are seven and eight years old and both on the autism spectrum. Let me tell you that nothing makes you more aware of the passage of Time than having children. As they steamroll from babies into young people who enjoy Godzilla movies and dancing, I find myself clawing at Time, wishing to slow it just a little. For this reason, they come first; no work meeting is too important, no drink with friends higher on my agenda.
You might suggest then, that my children are my mark to leave behind; however, for me that is not true on several fronts. Firstly, I do not see it as my children’s responsibility to carry on my name. Secondly, given that they are autistic, there is a strong possibility that my family name dies with me.
Therefore, I write.
My books will allow my children, and anyone else who cares to pick them up, to know me, and see just a little inside my head. They will hopefully exist hundreds of years after my demise.
It is somewhat serendipitous, then, that a friend of mine, Sid Thaker—whom I met through a mutual love of mechanical watches and capturing Time on our wrists—happened to work for Tesla and also just so happened to have been awarded a slot on a time capsule to be sent up on a SpaceX rocket. He generously donated some of his capsule to me, and I was able to send up two books, It Takes Death to Reach a Star and In the Shadow of a Valiant Moon, both co-authored with my good friend Stu Jones.
My dream of leaving a mark has exceeded my wildest expectations. My stories will float through the cosmos, perhaps forever.
Still, here on Earth my preponderance with Time remains and so my latest book Dark Dweller examines the concept of Time, and our importance in its infinity. Are we important? Are you?
Dark Dweller by Gareth Worthington is out 28 February (Dropship Publishing) priced £13.99 in paperback, £22.99 in hardback, and 34.99 for the special edition hardback, signed with six paintings by Bona Chang (only available at www.darkdwellerbook.com)