I recently read a quote by the late Michael Landon:
“Somebody should tell us, right at the start of our lives, that we are dying. Then we might live life to the limit, every minute of every day. Do it! I say. Whatever you want to do, do it now! There are only so many tomorrows.”
Only so many tomorrows?
I know many people who would testify to this. There are only so many tomorrows, it’s true. But I can’t help but to think that we truly weren’t meant to live our lives with the end in sight. Or were we? We all know that our days are numbered but most of us just take it for granted that our days will be many before they end.
According to the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, the life expectancy for the average female (it varies a bit by state) is 78-82 years of age. That is 27,456 to 28,864 days. That seems like a lot of time to live. But days have a way of turning into weeks, weeks into years, and then a lifetime.
Another quote comes to mind by Gretchen Rubin “The days are long, but the years are short.”
Just ask my friend who is retiring from her career in the school system.
Or the woman who lost her dear friend to cancer.
Or another woman who lost her husband of many years so suddenly and without warning.
There are really only so many tomorrows and what we do today, each day, matters. Sometimes it just seems like we’re clicking off hours while awaiting the next big event: a birthday, a wedding, the next 3 day weekend, or Christmas. Don’t get me wrong, those things are important, those things matter, but when it’s all said and done, we each only have so many tomorrows, and if tomorrow never comes, well…then today counts.
I remember the years when my kids were small and it seemed like the days would last forever. Sometimes they did! But the years…the years have a way of sneaking by, catching you unaware when the child is no longer a child. The child is a young adult driving, dating, going off to college or moving to Slovakia, just to pull one out of the air.
There are only so many tomorrows and none of us know how many we have been granted. Living life fully present adds value to the time, not just to you but to those you care about.
Knowing there are only so many tomorrows might be the thing to keep in mind as we live out our lives one day at a time.