Burning the Days…


Life is short, as everyone knows. […]

When I ask myself what I’ve found life is too short for, the word that pops into my head is “bullshit.” I realize that answer is somewhat tautological. It’s almost the definition of bullshit that it’s the stuff that life is too short for. And yet bullshit does have a distinctive character. There’s something fake about it. It’s the junk food of experience.

If you ask yourself what you spend your time on that’s bullshit, you probably already know the answer. Unnecessary meetings, pointless disputes, bureaucracy, posturing, dealing with other people’s mistakes, traffic jams, addictive but unrewarding pastimes. […]

But you can probably get even more effect by paying closer attention to the time you have. It’s easy to let the days rush by. The “flow” that imaginative people love so much has a darker cousin that prevents you from pausing to savor life amid the daily slurry of errands and alarms. […]

One of the most striking things I’ve read was not in a book, but the title of one: James Salter’s Burning the Days. […]

Perhaps a better solution is to look at the problem from the other end. Cultivate a habit of impatience about the things you most want to do. Don’t wait before climbing that mountain or writing that book or visiting your mother. You don’t need to be constantly reminding yourself why you shouldn’t wait. Just don’t wait. […]

Relentlessly prune bullshit, don’t wait to do things that matter, and savor the time you have. That’s what you do when life is short.

~ Paul Graham, Life is Short




  1. Very powerful indeed.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Very true. Waiting really is pointless. Great read.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. A must read…

    Liked by 1 person

  4. The things that matter….always. ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Nan Morrissette says:

    David, I took the liberty of responding to this post by putting it on my Facebook page and prefacing it with my comments. (As opposed to commenting here.) I hope that is acceptable. I have shared several of your posts there. I love the amazing variety of topics you give us. Thank you. My name on Fb is Nan Heldenbrand Morrissette, if you want to read my comment.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Nan I would like to read what your wrote…I went to your fb page and found that your post isn’t public….will you be sharing it here on Dk’s Live and Learn?

      Liked by 1 person

    • Nan Morrissette says:

      Apologies… I did not realize my facebook was not set for “public.” I am better at otwhr things. I think it is now corrected. In the meantime, here is what I wrote…

      Right now, music has taken over most of my time… my piano and singing… accompanying choirs and individuals… studying what I sing with Central Florida Master Choir… music nights here with friends and wine… playing with my trumpet friend, Pete Axson… poring over music to play for meditations or offerings in church (whatever fits that service, from Bach to Duke Ellington to Ola Gjielo.) Our music room looks like an explosion happened, there is music everywhere. Lucky I have three pianos, all kept perfectly tuned. Yes, some things have been temporarily set aside… an enormous beadwork project with a theme of refugees and immigration… a highly necessary sorting and tossing vendetta to get rid of years of stuff which has snidely snuck into my house. But for right this moment, I am doing so well at USING every minute to learn, to grow, to enhance, to encourage, and to share that my fingertips are worn and sore and tender. My best advice to anyone, as a very special friend Nika Vredevoogd knows, learn to play an instrument. Start today. Or begin to sing. Listen with all your ears to great performers and composers to hear what they are saying. They give the best answers to life, and ask the biggest questions.


      • Thank you so much for sharing…I love music as well, though I do not play but am planning on starting piano lessons this year…the pastors wife is a great teacher from what I hear…

        Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Nan. Appreciate your thoughts and your sharing.


  6. have no mercy with the bullshit cutting.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Life is far to short for BS. 🙂


  8. As a mother, I am constantly dealing with other people’s BS. For years, it has been my occupation. Now- as I edge out of my role and into a new realm, I recognize that I am expected to continue to deal with BS at the beck and call of those I love. For so many years, I have relished my role as a BS juggler — I have been practically glorious at it — but now, there is this little, uneasy shifting that happens inside…
    I have volunteered my a** off, I have been head of this, and organizer of that. I have multiple jobs — and many people to take care at the center of it all.

    A mother has to have balls to up and climb a mountain.
    I have often wished I were a roller derby girl that could easily shoulder check the obstacles in my way.

    Okay. Now- while all my thoughts are at the risk of being highly misunderstood — I better sneak back to my own blog to finish my response, but alas, I find that so much BS leaves me with little time to write. lol. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  9. As always “How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives,” Annie Dillard You were on the same brain wave as Maria today!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. in many forms, veiled or not, bs knocks on our doors…..

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I like this guy!

    Liked by 1 person

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