What time is it in your life? Is it early or beginning to get late? Is there still time to accomplish those things you wish to achieve? Are you on schedule? Is there really any schedule upon which to perfectly plan and manage your life?
As the saying goes, “there is a first time for everything.” Babies and young children have lots of first time experiences; first steps, words and day at school come to mind. For children, first time things just happen. There are no decisions that they need to make and little awareness of the passing of time as they have so much of it left.
In our teens we experience additional firsts like our first date, car and job. In adult life there are still many first times. First time experiences cannot be repeated; there is only one first time.
Following the first time, there is the potential for a string of next time moments. In our teens we begin to make our own choices about what will and will not be happening again and again in our lives. Selecting the right things to continue doing shapes our lives.
There are things in our lives that are last time occurrences. Some of those simply never happen again. Others are the result of choices we make to “never do that again.” The never again choices can and should be made as needed at any point in life. For example, those who smoke can decide to quit.
At seventy four years of age, many things have been done for the last time. Does that sound like an overdose of self-pity and giving up? It is not that; last time is simply a reality.
I have decided that some things have been done for the last time. Nothing of real value has been lost after carefully making a “never again will I” decision. Making that decision is not the same thing as giving up on life. In fact, at any point in life one can still experience enriching first time occurrences. I look forward to my next firsts.
We must be careful not to make too many casual “never again” promises to ourselves and stating them to others. Think of the person who suffers the loss of a significant relationship and says they will “never love again.” Love is important and can happen for those who avoid “never again.”
Remember, creating a lengthy list of our last time events is worse than a waste of time. It can be self-limiting and horizon-shrinking. We must avoid that temptation.
Life is a rich blend of firsts, nexts and lasts. We decide and control some but certainly not all of them. Yet, we should be thankful for all of them – even those that challenge us.
Each day is a new day and we should live it well as it just may be our last.
Until the next time, Bill Ramsey