breaking news
Healthy Food Factory Commissary Commercial Kitchen in Boca Raton, OUR KITCHENS ARE AVAILABLE 24/7/365 - Call (561) 394-7466 - Healthy Food Factory Commissary Commercial Kitchen in Boca Raton, OUR KITCHENS ARE AVAILABLE 24/7/365 - Call (561) 394-7466
Sign up for Newsletter
Protect Sliding Door Repair_1.jpg







Home / Articles / Happy Herald / From the Editor /  On the Shortness of Life
. . . . . . .
Wednesday, September 7,2022

On the Shortness of Life

By Brigitte Lang  
“You live as if you were destined to live forever, no thought of your frailty ever enters your head of how much time has already gone by. You squander time as if you drew from a full and abundant supply, though all the while that day which you bestow on some person or thing is perhaps your last.”

– Seneca

We could use a daily contemplation on how limited our time is in this life. Most of us avoid thinking about it, or get worked up or sad when we think about it. But it’s a powerful contemplation.

Years ago, Sharper Image’s retail store had a mortality clock that statistically predicted what age you’d die and then started the countdown on the mortality clock. It was stressful and perhaps morbid seeing the minutes of your life pass so quickly, but it was also powerful, and the point was well-taken.

I’d like to share brief contemplations on the shortness of life that I find valuable; we could ignore the very limited nature of this life, and take it for granted, and find ourselves at the end of our lives with regret that we didn’t use it more wisely. Or we could wake up to the brief time we have here, and decide to make the most of it. 1. If I’d known the last visit with my mom would have been her last, I would have cherished those days even more.

Remembering this, I can make the most of the days I have left with people I care about – including myself.

2. We could fret about the limited nature of our lives, get sad or fall apart about it. We do that because we believe it should be some other way. But that’s just another way to take for granted what we’ve been given. Instead, we could fully appreciate this limited gift. When someone hands you an incredibly valuable gift, do you ask them why there’s so little of it? Or do you rejoice at what you’ve been given?

3. Often we use up the current day worrying about or dreaming about upcoming days. And so we miss out on the day that’s here right now. That’s like thinking about future meals, while you’re eating your current meal. You can’t enjoy the meal you’re eating now. What if we could savor the day we’re currently living?

4. This is like an actor who finally gets a chance to go on stage, and spends the time moaning he only gets one scene. Hey! Make the most of your one scene! Make an impact with what you have.

5. Do we want to spend the limited time we have putting our noses to the grindstone and trying to do what we think we should do? Do we want to spend it feeling dull? What if we could live a life full of wonder, joy and love, fully alive?

6. Do we want to spend the hour we have at the playground trying to rigidly make sure we’re doing the merrygo-round correctly, or do we want to have a raucous good time?

7. Do we want to spend this limited time on earth constantly worried about ourselves, doing things right, what people are thinking about us, whether we’re being loved or respected? This is like watching a glorious sunset worrying about whether it’s lighting you just right for your selfie. What if we could forget for a bit about how we look, how we are coming across, whether we’re okay, and instead fully love the breathtaking sunset in front of us?

8. When we have struggles in our lives, we think something’s wrong, we shouldn’t be struggling. And these struggles can seem like something we have to get through before we can finally start living the life we want. What if the struggles aren’t a thing we have to get through, what if they’re a big part of the thing itself?

9. We might wonder what the meaning of this short life is, what’s the point of it all? It’s almost like we’re hoping someone will reveal the meaning of things to us: here’s what it’s all about, take some notes. What if we were the creators of meaning in our own lives? What if there was no one to tell us the meaning, and there would be no meaning until we created it ourselves? We can decide to take full responsibility for our lives at any moment, and decide for ourselves what our lives mean.

10. The Japanese have a term, “mono no aware,” that speaks to this impermanent, ephemeral nature to all things. It’s so sweet, tinged with some sadness, because everything we care about is beautiful and fleeting. This fleetingness only makes things more precious.

11. If you had a delicious treat in unlimited quantities, you might take it for granted. But if you knew that you could only taste this for a short time, that it would soon be gone, you might taste the sweetness of the treat with more vividness. More joy. More wonder.

What do you feel called to do with this precious day? “Tell me,” as Mary Oliver asked, “what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”


  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5