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"The Only Thing I Have to Lose is Time"


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When one is young, a year seems to stretch on interminably. It will be forever until one's birthday rolls around and one can have a party with a cake and ice cream and receive gifts. When one is old, a year seems to fly by. Stop to do this or that, and the next thing you know, half the year's gone.


Such wrought the words "The only thing I have to lose is time." The speaker was one of my first bosses, a man in his late-60s, who had suffered a heart attack, and who knew he would not live much longer. I was in my mid-20s when I knew him, and I could not imagine what he was talking about. Now that I'm in my early 70s, I know full well what he was talking about.


I was grown and in college when the ground-breaking police procedural Hawaii Five-0 came on the air. The year was 1968; I turned 20 that year. The next year, 1969, I married my first husband; last year would have been our 50th anniversary, if our poor beleaguered marriage had lasted. It gave its last gasping breath in 1980, the year Hawaii Five-0 went off the air. The show was much more successful and continues to be seen on more than a half-dozen online sites, including CBS All Access, today, 40 years after it went off the air. It is difficult for me to comprehend that so much time has passed since McGarrett first ran up the palace steps two and a time, but in fact, 52 years -- a half-century -- have passed.


I won't risk sounding like your mother by telling you not to waste time, but I will advise you to take a good long look at how you are spending your time. Will you want to get to be my age and look back on what you are now doing? If so, wonderful. If not, maybe it's time to think about moving in a new direction. In any case, remember a piece of advice that is being handed down in various expressions these days: We don't regret the things we did as much as we regret the things we did not do.

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