Only so many days…

Life is short.

Four times, in the past seven days, I’ve been reminded that our days are limited.  I know it’s heavy, but it’s something that we have to think about on occasion.  If you think about it all the time, you can become depressed.  If you never think about it, you may find that you waste your days and focus on things that aren’t that important.

Heads up:  I’m gonna get a little “Debbie Downer” on you for a minute, but then I’ll talk about opportunity.

On Monday, I heard the news about the passing of Stephen Covey, author of “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People”.  He died from complications related to a bicycle accident he had a few months ago.  He was 80 years old.  80 years may seem like a long time to us, but I’m sure it doesn’t seem long enough to those who loved him and shared life with him.  Or to those who looked to him for encouragement.

This morning, I heard the awful news about the shooting at the “Dark Knight Rises” premiere in Aurora, CO.  Words can’t explain the shock in the minds of those who were there or who lost loved ones.

My wife and I watched this movie and this movie last week, and both of them make you seriously reflect on how you spend your days, and how quickly time passes.

You just don’t know how much time you have.  Even if you “beat the odds”, you’re time is still limited.

Every morning, I wake up to a ringtone alarm on my phone.  It’s a very short clip from The Avett Brothers’ song, When I Drink.  You can hear it HERE.  You should listen to it, but in case you don’t….at 2:54, it says “…and we only get….so many days……now I have one less….just do your best….” This concept has been so meaningful to me that I committed a form of them to my body.  I have the words, “Only so many days” on my right arm.  Weird, huh?  It’s pretty important to me.

When I hear it, it doesn’t make me sad.  It inspires me.

I’ve already acknowledged the fact that I can’t control how much time I have.  I acknowledge that no amount of time would be “enough”.  I know that, one day, my opportunities will be over.

Don’t get me wrong.  I don’t like it.  But it’s reality.

So, now what do I do?

I can either get really bummed out, focus on the negative, and squander my limited time.


I can wake up every day, realizing the potential for good that the day holds.  I can give myself fully to the people in my life today, knowing that today is the only day that I’m confident I have.

  • I only have today to live.
  • I only have today to give.
  • I only have today to let my ideals and beliefs become reality.
  • I only have today to experience the good around me.
  • I only have today to help someone in need.
  • I only have today to show and tell my family and friends that I love them and that I am so grateful to have them in my life.

I don’t know what my future holds.  I don’t know how long I have.

But I want to do my best to be what I should be today.

And…if I get tomorrow…I’ll do it again.