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It's About Time: What are You Doing with the Time You Have (Left)?

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Tree Climbing by eszter on flickr

Tree Climbing by eszter on flickr

You’ve heard speakers, authors and coaches remind us that we all have exactly the same amount of time–24 hours a day.

I’ve said it myself many times, but an email from a friend gave me another perspective.

Last June my friend traveled from the Netherlands to attend a party held in Seattle, WA. That may seem to be a long trip, but my friend was propelled by an undeniable urgency.

She had been diagnosed with a debilitating cancer and was advised by her doctor that she only had a few months to live.

She decided not to waste any of her remaining time, but to have fun and be with friends wherever they were. Along with my friend who travelled all the way from the Netherlands, 30 of us showed up from many other places around the USA.

The first night we enjoyed a pajama party complete with movie, delicious food and popcorn. The next day we met for a Chinese brunch, and then on to visit an island the next. We shopped, ate, drank, laughed and enjoyed each other the whole weekend.

Nine months have passed since my friend returned home, uncertain of her future.

I recently received an email from her updating all of us that the treatments she has been receiving have given her and her doctors hope for a bit longer life. Even though she still faces more radiation and more surgery, we are all happy with this good news.

That’s when it hit me that while we all have 24 hours a day, we don’t know how many days we have. None of us know that.

Those who are diagnosed with terminal illnesses and told by their doctors to get their affairs in order often do just that: get their affairs in order and seek to enjoy activities and goals they may have long neglected.

But what about the rest of us. Why do we need the push of a doctor’s prognosis? Wouldn’t it be great if we all pursued our goals with a sense of urgency?

After all, if we think about it for a minute, we are all terminal. One thing we can absolutely expect from life on this Earth is that it will end. None of us know when.

So, if we acted with urgency, we would get busy moving toward our neglected goal today. We would be less fearful of failure or more concerned about leaving our dream lives unlived.

We would say “I love you” to those who need to long to hear those words.

We would say “thank you” to those we have made a difference in our lives but haven’t been informed by us.

And most of all, we wouldn’t hesitate to take off our shoes and skip through wet grass, climb a tree or pause to watch a lizard doing his pushups on the ground.

How about you? What are you waiting for? What are you doing with the wonderfully delicious and precious time you have left?


  1. That hit me as well. A very good post to ponder upon.
    Thanks for sharing! 🙂

    • You’re most welcome. I’m glad this resonates with you. Thanks for stopping by to comment.

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