The Importance of Minutes

As of a few minutes ago, I am now eighteen years old. I don't think I quite accept that yet, but it's interesting how I feel so... similar - as compared to how I was a few minutes before it became my birthday.

Of course, this shouldn't be surprising. Nothing really has changed. Birthdays are only important and they only affect our lives when we give them meaning. Indeed, I probably have not yet been alive eighteen years yet, given that I wasn't born a few minutes after midnight. On the other hand, I was born in Georgia, which hurtles through time four hours ahead of Alaska, and I think I was born in the morning, so I could be getting really close. If you think about things in an even different way, I've probably been alive eighteen years and a few months already - or if you're quite convinced that zygotes are life, I guess I would be eighteen years nine months for you.

Here's something that just popped into my mind: If birthdays aren't really anniversaries of our lives, per se, they are, quite obviously, anniversaries of our birth. Considering the implications of that event, don't you think it would make sense that instead of having a national mothers' day, each person celebrated their mother on a different day - their birthday? Makes sense, doesn't it.

Well, getting back to my own advancing age, I felt that it might be good to post here today, considering that last year I failed to do so and nearly forgot it was my birthday completely. (See this post and this post; note the date between.) Truth be told, I never have put a lot of stock in birthdays. Maybe I hang out with Jehovah's Witnesses too much, or maybe I never had enough (or any) super-fun birthday parties in my life. The two may be related - not that Jehovah's Witnesses are super-fun (just kidding).
Turning eighteen is important, sure; I registered to vote a few weeks ago and I guess I've got to sign up for the selective service act now - not that I wouldn't go to jail before being drafted. I don't think, however, that I can really lay much more of a claim to adulthood for myself than I could a few days or just a few minutes ago. I am who I was then, plus a few experiences I've had over the time between. These eighteen years have quite a bit stored up in them, and there's no way I could celebrate them in just one day - or just a few minutes of magically realizing that the hour has turned so that today is my birthday.

Ultimately, these few minutes I've spent writing this go to show that it is every minute that counts in your life - no matter how insignificant it may seem. That may seem negative if you're thinking you waste a lot of your time, but really, the value of each minute only gives you further opportunities. Missing a minute shouldn't get you depressed. There's another on its way, and another, and another. I know I probably could have devoted every minute of my free time in the last few years to one thing or another and I could be the most skilled kid in the world at some obscure sport or specialized field. Should I have? Of course not. Because even when some minutes seem unused or inefficient, they're really serving to add or detract quality from the rest. Which they do is up to your attitude.

Today I am eighteen years old. With each passing minute, that becomes more and more true. Has my life changed? No. Will my life change? With every minute.


  1. I like the new layout, Pierre. :) Happy birthday! And good piece you just wrote.


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