Life Is Short...Or Is It?


Life Is Short…Or Is It?

If you listen closely, you will hear the phrase, “life is short” all over the place. Whether you are young and justifying going to a party, someone on a strict budget ordering carry out in lieu of cooking, or taking a vacation in a far away land, life is short seems to be the phrase we use to force allowance of the thing we want to do. It isn’t an excuse as much as it is a rationale (I can neither confirm nor deny that all the aforementioned examples may or may not have been choices made at some point by this author).

Living in the United States, our life expectancy is 77 years (according to Google). When you are a 13-year-old lamenting about only having 1 month of summer vacation left, that seems like an eternity. When you are, well, old enough to be closer to that number than further from it, it takes on an entirely different meaning. Time for some quick math. If 77 years is the average, and there are 365 days in a year and 24 hours in a day and 60 minutes in an hour and 60 seconds in a minute, we have on average a total of 2,428,272,000 seconds of mortal life on this planet. Over two billion seconds! Please allow me to offer a rebuttal to those who think life is short.

Life is long!

Life is long on memories created. Life is long for people who have the great fortune of meeting others and knowing, loving, and being loved by them. Life is long on possibilities. Life is long to visit as many places on this planet as possible while we are here. Life is long with the ability to educate ourselves on something new every day. Life is long in the wisdom all those past seconds already lived has taught us.

Life is long!

Understanding all this life can offer us and all we can share in it does not take away from the fact that at some point, each and every one of us will die one day. I am sure we have all mourned the loss. Loss hurts deeply. Losing a loved one can be the greatest pain anyone can experience. Dear friends, this loss is temporary. After the initial pain and sting of the loss is experienced, it is up to those of us who still have seconds to spend to keep those we lost alive in our memories, or stories, and our actions. We live for each loved one we have lost. Remember them fondly and often. Remember their best traits. Remember them and smile. Share your seconds with their memory. Take them with you on vacation. Go to the party and think of them. Share your seconds.

We have a finite number of seconds on this rock. How we choose to spend them will determine how long or short life truly is. Live. Experience. Share. Love. Help. Support. Learn. Grow. Believe. By doing these things and a host of others not mentioned in the list above that I’m sure you can add to, life can indeed be very, very long. Live your seconds while you are here and share them with the memories of those lost along the way.

My wish for you all is a truly, deeply, fulfilled, happy, loving, long life in the seconds that remain.

Steve Gwisdalla is a Dexter Resident and Owner, Chief Happiness Officer, Chief Second Counter and Long-Life Wisher of BetterPlace Consulting, a success coaching and small business consulting firm. If you are looking for some ideas on how to best spend some seconds to help those in need, reach out to him at

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