It Only Seems Like Forever

Read in :03 mins “Time always seems long to the child who is waiting – for Christmas, for next summer, for becoming a grownup….”~ Dag Hammarskjold

How well do you recall your childhood? Do you remember what it was like to be 5 or 6 years old? I remember thinking December was endless. It seemed like forever until Santa would arrive and we finally got to open our presents. Did anyone else have relatives like mine? Of course, we had to wash and dry and put away the supper dishes before we could open even one single teeny little package. We felt like we would explode with excitement. Cruel, heartless adults! It happened to you, too? Then you can relate to the horrible child abuse, right?

If you’re like me, the twelfth month of the calendar year always evaporates in a poof. Here we go again. It’s almost Christmas and I’m not sure how it got here so fast. What’s that you say? It always falls on December 25 so I shouldn’t be surprised? No one likes a smart aleck.

I’m writing this on the 346th day of 2016. Let that sink in a minute. Where did 2016 go? I’m beginning to comprehend that life is short and even a long one doesn’t last forever. This was going to be my year to do great things but the days melted and disappeared. I suggest that you shouldn’t take as long as I did to figure it out. You’re much too smart.

Because we don’t have forever

There’s something about the approach of another year’s end that always finds me deep in thought. How about you? A nifty internet search tool tells me I’ve been alive 23,966 days as of today. The good news is that 2016 represented only about one and one-half percent of my life. It gives me a new perspective and explains why time seems to go by faster and faster. Each passing year is becoming a smaller and smaller fraction of my total life. Knowing that sort of takes my breath away because I know I don’t have forever. And then again, it creates a strong urge to focus and make each day count by making better choices in how I spend each precious day.

A simple little book, Jesus Calling, has been a game changer for me. For the last three years, with very few exceptions, I’ve given the first 10 minutes of my day to reading this little devotional and looking up the Bible verses for each short page. Ten minutes is a tiny fraction of the 1440 minutes I’m given each day. My life has taken on so much meaning by doing this one small thing first in my day. It’s amazing how a small and simple decision has made such a difference.

Small changes now can rescript our forever

We are richly blessed by the gift of another Christmas and then another. Lucky are those of us who have had the opportunity to string together 40 or 60 or 80 Christmases. Each passing year gives us the opportunity to make good choices and grow in wisdom but not one of us has forever. Every day in our life is a gift and should be spent doing the things that bring us closer to becoming the best possible version of the person we were designed to be.

I’ll sum up my random thoughts this way. My wish for you is that you know the importance and the exquisite value of time and the way you think about it. Not one  of us knows how much time we have, but we can reap huge rewards from small decisions that move us closer to living in alignment with the things we hold most dear.

“You have to start by changing the story you tell yourself about getting older… The minute you say to yourself, ‘Time is everything, and I’m going to make sure that time is used the way I dream it should be used,’ then you’ve got a whole different story.” ~ Diane Sawyer




  • Grant Newbold

    Thanks Betty. For me this brings to mind a saying that I made up about my time in graduate school, “It was a very short eternity.” Interestingly enough both ends of that statement are true. In some ways those years were a blur of activity and in some ways they took forever. I think that saying often also applies to each of the years of our lives. In the heat of the summer the daylight time is long and each day for me was filled to the max. Now the daylight time is very short and I think that teams up with the holidays to make December the seem like the shortest month of the year. However, it is good that we have the calendar to give us “cause to pause” for a moment and think about the fleeting nature of our lives and how we need to fill our time with things of purpose and meaning and not just distractions. That brings me back to why a focus on worthy values is to important. I hope each of our readers find their worthy values and can use them to make sure their goals and actions serve those worthy values to produce personal meaning. Talk to you again soon, Doc Newbold.

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