We all have said the phrase “in my lifetime” especially when we were younger. Lifetimes always seem like an eternity. Where time is boundless and abundant. Excuses and delays are easily attached to doing something at some point in a lifetime.
Tonight, I get to address a graduating class from the grammar school I graduated from 51 years ago. Their ceremony was postponed due to the pandemic. Reflecting on my 51 years since 8th grade, it occurred to me that possibly over 2/3 of my lifetime has now been lived.
Weeks of confusion, stress, uncertainty and big life decisions have all passed. My children are now grown and on their own. My likes and dislikes are more hardened with time. Long hours at work. Rushed vacations. Too much to do. I sleep more today than I did years ago. My career paths have been lived. Many joys have transformed themselves into memories.
While I look forward to more new things in my life, it is the number 51 that struck me as a very small number to describe a significant portion of a lifetime. In today’s world, we talk of thousands of followers, millions of dollars, government deficits in the trillions of dollars. The number is only five decades. To party like it’s 1999 is now 21 years old.
Where did the time go? It seems like yesterday that I was young. With this new awareness of how short a lifetime really is, comes a realization for the urgency to make the most of each of our days. To love, share, learn, help or do. For it goes by much too quickly.