As we coast through our lives day after day, being extremely busy at our obligations, we are absent from our selves. The idea for most of us is to do than to be. And thus, life seems short because we all have so much to do.
But then, “Life is long,” wrote the Roman philosopher Seneca, “…if you know how to use it.”
In his brilliant treatise written 2,000 years ago, Seneca wrote…
It is not that we have a short time to live, but that we waste a lot of it. Life is long enough, and a sufficiently generous amount has been given to us for the highest achievements if it were all well invested. But when it is wasted in heedless luxury and spent on no good activity, we are forced at last by death’s final constraint to realize that it has passed away before we knew it was passing. So it is: we are not given a short life but we make it short, and we are not ill-supplied but wasteful of it… Life is long if you know how to use it.
So, while there’s a huge mass of time ahead of us, it passes much faster than we think. Our kids grow up fast. We get gray hairs before we’re done getting our bearings on life.