Your First Time, Next Time or Last Time

What time is it? I mean 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? Can life really be lived on a schedule you set for yourself? These are questions with uncertain answers.  

First Time

As the saying goes, “there is a first time for everything.”  Babies and young children have lots of first time experiences; first step, first word and first 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. These first time experiences cannot be repeated; there is only one truly first time.

Next 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.

Last Time

There are things in our lives that are last time occurrences. Some of those will 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 and “never do that again.”

At seventy-seven years of age, I acknowledge that 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 times are simply a reality. For example, I will not jog again; my knees decided that for me.

I have decided that some things have been done for the last time. It is important to make a few “never again will I” decisions. 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. For example, last year I took on my first theatric performance in a significant role as the Pope in a play. It was a great challenge and great fun; I look forward to my next firsts.

Remember, creating a lengthy list of our “last time” events is worse than a waste of time. It is self-limiting and horizon-shrinking. We must avoid that temptation. Until the next time, Bill

About authorbillramsey

During his forty-year professional career, Bill Ramsey wrote magazine articles and business newsletters. Now retired in the mountains of western North Carolina, he writes a blog and has published four books. Bill's 2015 collection of concise, real-life essays is titled "What Do YOU Think?" He has also written "Me Now - Who Next? (The Inspiring Story of a Traumatic Brain Injury Recovery)" and "Now That I Think About It. Bill's books and are available from and on all e-readers. See Follow Bill on Facebook at
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3 Responses to Your First Time, Next Time or Last Time

  1. Duke Woodhull says:

    Excellent observation and insight, Bill! Even at 84, I still have some “first times” planned, as well as some “do overs” that were wonderful the first time around. In the former, I count the writing of a sequel to my first book and making a headline in the Transylvania Times by heroically breaking up a bank robbery. Just kidding about the second item. In the latter, I could cite the following: (1) return to a certain lonely hilltop in the Azores that I used to visit periodically, contemplating the scenery as a young bachelor, telling myself that someday I would return to that spot as a mature married individual, (2) return to playing and accompanying myself on the guitar (I deeply regret being lazy and allowing my fingers to go soft, making that return problematical), and (3) continue making surprise romantic greeting cards on my computer for my wife, to whom I am blessed to have been married 62 years!

    Bill, keep the thoughtful commentaries coming!!




  2. I celebrate “firsts” and lament “lasts.” However, this spring, we’re going to Italy . . . for the “first” AND “last” time. How’s that for dichotomy? 🙂


    • Joe, As we look back on life, there are more first and last times than we recognize. Enjoy the trip as I am sure you will. Be sure and eat a few good meals; as though I needed to remind you to do that.


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