Making the most of the time we have

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Ever wonder where the time goes? I spent time over the holiday weekend putting together a presentation for an upcoming Rotary function that remembers Rotarians who have passed away in the last year.

Across the Rotary district that Roxboro is part of, there have been about 15 deaths during that time. As I read the obituaries for each of these people, it struck me just how fickle life can be. One man lived to be 93. Another passed away at the relatively young age of 50. What is it that allows one person to live to be 93 (Or 100? Or more?) and others don’t live long enough to see their children grow up?

And how does the fleeting nature of life make us approach each day?

In the news over the weekend, I read about the death of the Wake Forest boy who drowned off the coast of Emerald Isle. He was at the beach during Spring Break of what must have been his senior year in high school and, now, all that might have lay ahead for that boy is gone in an instant.

We all lead busy lives. Some are busier than others, to be sure. Regardless of the pace of our life, I suspect very few of us take very much time to consider what’s good in our lives. Person County has a real natural beauty about it. You can take any number of country roads across the county and find some bit of natural beauty. The view of City Lake, when you travel down the hill from Five Forks Store is about as gorgeous as anything I’ve ever seen. Travel along N.C. 157 in southern Person County and you’ll find beautiful open pasture land, barns and well-kept homes. But we don’t travel much just for the sake of seeing what’s around us.

When I lived in the mountains, we lived at the foot of Roan Mountain. If you’re not familiar with it, the Roan has a very distinct shape and, because it’s a particularly tall mountain, it’s easy to see from far away. The drive from my office to my home gave me a short, but spectacular view of the mountain’s profile. And, though we lived just 15 miles or so from the summit, we traveled up there only three or four times a year to enjoy the scenery. And, truth to tell, we probably wouldn’t have made it that often if it weren’t for the fact that we could let our two young children run around and burn some energy.

The problem with missing out on all those sites – be it in the mountains or right here in Person County – is that we don’t know how much time we have left. We might be like that 93-year-old Rotarian. In his obituary, it noted that he and his wife took semi-annual cruises. They had time in their lives to enjoy the sights and sounds around them.

But the obituary for the 50-year-old man didn’t read like that.

Perhaps the lesson in all that for the rest us is that we better take the time now, while we have it, to enjoy what’s around us. Tomorrow’s not promised to us.

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