Time--2017 A to Z Theme

My theme for the 2017 Blogging from A to Z April Challenge is "Time". The posts will be more philosophical, contemplative, and even autobiographical than instructional. No time management tips planned, but you never know with A to Z.

Always a work in progress--welcome to my blog...

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Friday, April 14, 2017

Lifetime (#AtoZChallenge)


     A wife asks her husband, "What's a five letter word about time that begins with an "L"?

    Staring at the television the husband doesn't answer, so the wife asks, "Can you tell me?"

    Without looking up the husband says, "Later."

    The wife retorts, "Why can't you tell me now?"





Lifetime

        When I was about five I figured that my great grandmother--Maw Maw we called her--was about a hundred years old.   Looking at a genealogical book about my mother's family I see that at that time Maw Maw would have been more like in her mid eighties.  To a five year old she looked really old.  But so did my grandparents who would have been in their fifties which is younger than I am now.

        They--and I--have lived a decent span of a lifetime.  A person can do a lot in fifty years and more.  Then I think about friends and people I've known through the years who died in their twenties, thirties, or forties.  Those were usually bigger surprises unlike any of my old friends who might pass away now.  At some point in a lifetime the reality of the end coming ever more near is always on the horizon.  I'd like to think that my lifetime will be a long time.  It's been decently long so far, but it would be nice to stay alive and healthy for many many more years to come.

         In Psalms 90 it is said that a normal life span is seventy to eighty years.  Seems like there hasn't been much change a few thousand years later despite all the medical advances.  And is the quality of life any better now?  A person might live to their eighties and never seem to do that much in all that time.  Not if you put that life up against someone who died relatively young like Mozart, Beethoven, or Schubert who all put out voluminous outputs of great music.

       Some of us might imagine that we will merely fade away into the memories of the few we leave behind and then eventually become dusty stats in some courthouse record department.  Sounds glum until you think of the broader implications on the way your life may have touched others.  Every smile we give to another person, every encouraging word, helps to shape the world into a better place.  It would be nice to leave behind a great book or work of art after our lifetimes are over, but in a sense we have left even greater things.  Each of us has an influence that reaches out far beyond our own lives and even beyond our lifetimes.

Limitations

As we grow older we tend to sense an urgency to get things done and time itself seems to speed faster. A lifetime is limited, but unfortunately we don't know exactly what those limitations are as we go forward.   Each day that comes is like a bonus after a while as we start wondering how many more remain.   Can we do everything we've wanted to in the lifetime we've been given?   Have you planned out the life you hope to live?   Or do you let life take you by surprise?




34 comments:

  1. A bit too close to comfort to me what you have written though very true. I take each day as it comes and feel grateful for what I have and who I am, having a birthday less than a month away does not make me feel much better....lol

    Excellent post Lee.
    Yvonne.





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    1. Yvonne, after a while I guess we just need to accept what is coming and be grateful for all that we get.

      Lee

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  2. We should make the most of our lives, however long or short they may be - I do try.

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    1. Patsy, I try, but still I think we all let a lot of great opportunities slip away.

      Lee

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  3. I've had someone very close to me die at an early age. It's humbling and it's a rude awakening to how short life is and how important it is to appreciate the small things rather than the material things. We learned that to always say, "I love you" before walking out the front door.

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    1. Elsie, we never really know when the last time we see someone might be.

      Lee

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  4. Having experienced a very close loved one passing away when they were far too young, I definitely try to live my life the best way I can. And that is about small things and everyday kindnesses, because while they seem small they add up to something big over time.

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    1. Nick, twenty small things can have far greater implications than one big thing even though we might never really see those results.

      Lee

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  5. We just never know. Have to get in what we can and enjoy the ride, because there is no way we can get everything we want done in a lifetime. Unless one's ambitions is to get on a couch and do nothing ever, then that is doable lol

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    1. Pat, sad to think that there could be people who think that the must-see TV for that day is the most important thing.

      Lee

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  6. Your post today reminds me of the movie "It's a Wonderful Life". We don't realize how much of an impact we have on others and it's good to reflect on that. Kindness and understanding go a long way.

    As I get older, "Life is short" and "You only live once" are two mantras that crop up more and more frequently. We are doing our best to live our lives to the fullest at this stage, but there's not a lot of formal planning going on. We spent a year arranging our month-long 40th anniversary trip to Europe, though and might do something similar in the future, funds permitting. That's always the kicker, unfortunately.

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    1. Debbie D, It's a Wonderful Life is a film with a great message worth keeping in mind. Do what you can while you can is a good philosophy to follow. Happy 40th! Great accomplishment!

      Lee

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  7. I'm with Yvonne on this. I love every day, worry less than I used to, settle more than I used to. I'm probably happier but not unready to move on.

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    1. Jacqui, As I get older I figure there's less time left for worry and the worry doesn't make things better anyway so it's not worth it.

      Lee

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  8. My husband has a 105 year old aunt. In visiting her (not often, as we live some 150 miles from her) I get more and more a feeling of urgency in my life. I don't plan my life, though - not usually.

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    1. Unknown Journey, urgency without plans is kind of the way most of us go along, but planning often doesn't turn out as hoped and sometimes the urgency seems mostly in vain.

      Lee

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  9. Part of the reason I chose to move from the US to Ecuador was seeing how life was lived in Ecuador. Everyone I saw seemed to be living, not just letting each day come and go. It has rubbed of on me somewhat. I worry less and enjoy life more now. I could certainly have learned to do that in the US eventually but it was nice to see examples around every day. We only get one lifetime - each day provides a new chance to improve it.

    Emily | My Life In Ecuador | Latitude Zero

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    1. Emily, I think we can kind of withdraw from the mainstream in most countries, but I did get what you are talking about when I visited Ecuador. No matter where we are, life is what we make it.

      Lee

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  10. I plan my days, but not my months. Basically, I handle life as it comes along. Usually my long-term plans fall through so I guess I have stopped trying. But you're right, the older you get, the more urgent time seems to be. I have so much I still want to get through!

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  11. I try to pass on those smiles as often as I can. I've lost a few people close to me much sooner than I expected so I try not to take any lifetime for granted.

    I'm not sure why my linky thing doesn't work on your blog but it does on others and I just cut and paste the same way. :(
    Janet

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  12. Thanks for the visit Mr B. I still look at folk and think OOOOoooo they're getting on a bit only to realise I'm the same age . . . DAMN how did that happen I'm sure my mind still thinks I am thirty something which is OK until I try to run or even get out of a comfy seat . . . I am working at leaving my little mark on the world . . . mainly art, I try to avoid smiling at folk they think I'm mad

    Rob Z Tobor

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  13. I use to pray as a young woman to bring me the life my mother has in meaning a man to love me and live life happily ever after. My first marriage was a nightmare & we'll leave that at that, but I thank the Lord he let me meet my for real soulmate and now I'm living life to it's fullest and I am loved. I couldn't be more happier... well I could be if my body would cooperate. I think my body hates me. Oh well... have a great day!

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  14. Isn't it interesting how the older we get, the quicker time seems to pass us by? I don't know how long I have on this earth, but I hope when I'm gone that I'm remembered with love and a smile.
    ~Katie
    TheCyborgMom

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  15. In the last year I have lost two aunts who were in their mid to late 90s, a long time friend in her 70s and a sister-in-law in her 60s. Death is beginning to feel like too much of a constant companion. I know I'll never finish my family history research or get it all written up, but I will just keep on day by day and hope someone will pick it up after me.
    Finding Eliza

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  16. The neighbor's school age children were playing outside this morning. When I glanced out I commented to my husband that I didn't understand where the time went - those should be my children. At least it feels like it was was them yesterday! In reality they both graduate from high school next month. Life is a mist!

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  17. Very thoughtful post. One wonders how, why, some of us are get so much done in a short time like Mozart and others live so much longer and accomplish less? Is that the way to think of it? Maybe it's not what we accomplish but how happy we are with our lives and the way we have made others feel? If we measure our lifetime by external success ($, fame, career) then perhaps many of us will fall short of the mark. If we measure our lifetime in our soul accomplishments - like quitting drinking, overcoming anger, being a good parent despite challenges, etc., we may realize we are more than enough. Maui Jungalow

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  18. I regret not traveling more when I was younger but I always had a different set of priorities then. And now I have no money at all so I can't travel.

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  19. Hmm... this post reminds me of one I missed on Elsie's "What would you change" question today... let me know how precious time was back when I had an unlimited supply.


    BTW, tommorow I'll post my annual "A-Z mashup part one", if anyone cares.

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  20. "Life is what happens while you're busy making other plans' ~ John Lennon
    Look what happened to him and look at the impact of his life on others. Makes you think doesn't it?
    No matter how we try to control things, life does take you buy surprise.
    I know just two years ago I just wanted to live long enough to write my story. It's all done ~ approx. 65,000 words worth. :)
    https://meinthemiddlewrites.com/2017/04/14/me-in-the-middle-of-atozchallenge-letter-l-2/

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  21. So far, I am on the one day at a time as they come approach. In this world we will live om as long as someone remembers us....and possibly longer if they impart what we did to others. But I have a sure hope that death is just a transition to another more glorious life!
    Perspectives at Life & Faith in Caneyhead

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  22. I think the worst part of living to age 97 for my mom was experiencing the loss of her friends, one by one, and her only son as well. It's no wonder so many of our elders are sad and depressed.

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  23. I was really hit hard this year by the realization that I've not only outlived my uncle (who died on St. Patrick's Day 1988), but that I've outlived him by four years so far. I knew he'd died at 33, but for some reason hadn't stopped to think about the fact of me getting older than he'd been. I do feel like I haven't accomplished as much in my 37 years as many other people, but we don't all share the same life path. Not everyone is meant to find a career and spouse early on, though I do feel like modern Western society makes that much harder than it was in previous generations (for reasons too off-topic to get into here!).

    The traditional Jewish birthday wish (also sometimes offered by weddings and anniversaries) is "till 120," referring to Moses's lifespan. Most people never make it that long, but it's a nice thing to aspire to.

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  24. I don't think my life has gone by plan, or if it has it has been derailed. It goes forward. I enjoyed the opener!

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  25. Life is too short even if one lives to be a hundred because we always would like to learn or do more. I always hope to get more things done and experience life more whether that is travel or learning something new. One can plan as best as we can but life always upsets the apple cart so we have to learn that these things happen.

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Lee