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When You Realize Life Is Short And Time Is Fast

antique pocket watch

Life is so dang short and time flies so dang fast.

I remember my parents looking at me at various milestones of my life as a child/young person and saying, “it seems like just yesterday…where did the time go?”

My eyes would roll as I’d listen to what I thought was just a rote hyperbole.  All parents said this.  These phrases came from the pamphlet on the myriad of things you say when you’re an adult .

Or so I thought.  Wrongly, of course.

Because I became the parent, the adult, and I find myself saying the exact same things.  (And I know I didn’t read any such pamphlet.)

What happens?  Is there something scientific that changes in our maturing brains that makes us sense time differently?  Or is it just the fact that as we age we begin to see life and its brevity for what it really was all along?

hand and pocket watch

Life is short.  Time is fast.

I got the beautiful opportunity to sit with a new friend over coffee and hear her story.   She is a wife, young mom and a lovely creative soul.

She is also a recent cancer survivor.

She has come through her journey with a new energy and perspective of life.

And it is nothing short of inspiring.

At a time in her life when she should be distracted and overwhelmed by her responsibilities as a mom of three young children, she has deliberately chosen to focus on each day and its opportunities.

To not miss a thing.

To savor the heck out of every of the moments she has been given.

She appreciates the brevity of life.  She understands the pace that time keeps.

And she is doing something about it.


Life is short.  Time is fast.

Her new mantra is “do something every day that scares me.”

To face life head on because its not going to stop just because we hesitate.

 – She tries new things, simple or difficult, that she has never done before.

– She pushes herself harder than she would have in the past.

– She finds beauty in what can so easily be ignored.

– She takes every opportunity to impart life wisdom to her kids.

– She loves her husband in practical ways.

She is squeezing life and everything beautiful is oozing out of it.

alarm clock

Life is short.  Time is fast.

Her energy was contagious and when she left, I could still feel the smile in the air that she left behind.

My very next encounter, only minutes later, was with a normally vivacious young woman.  But when I approached her, I could tell something was wrong.

No eye contact.

Her chin trembling to hold back choking tears.

She told me her grandmother had died the previous day, from the very same cancer that the young mom I’d spoken to earlier had survived.

As I hugged her,she sobbed on my shoulder, her words ringing in my ear:

“We thought we had more time with her.”

Same cancer.  Different outcome.

watch face

Life is short.  Time is fast.

Within a two hour span, I was poignantly reminded twice of those two facts.

What do I take away from it?

 – That I need to treat life as the delicate flower that it is.

– That I cannot take anyone/anything for granted.

– That time will not wait for me. I need to move with it.

– That there is so much to learn from the every day happenings.

– That I need to be deliberate in how I use this fleeting time.

clock on building

Life is short.  Time is fast.

Mom and dad, you were right.  Sorry for the sighs and rolling eyes when you told me so.  Time DOES fly.  Life really IS short.  Thanks for living life in front of me in a way that shows me what to do with that knowledge.  xoxoxo

Psalm 90:12 – So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom.

James 4:14 – Yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes.

Ephesians 5:15 -16 – Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.


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