A thousand years from now, no one will know who I was or remember one single word of anything I have written. I’m okay with that, though, because they probably won’t remember E.L. James either.

A thousand months? Well, perhaps my grandchildren and great-grandchildren. What about a thousand weeks? That’s more like it. I’d like to be a smashing success by then, please. Tons of bestsellers to my name, oodles of money in the bank, all that kind of stuff. It would be especially nice if I could reach that point in a thousand days, to be honest.

This week’s prompt made me sit down and do some math, which is never a good thing. I started figuring out all kinds of things multiplied and/or divided by one thousand, and I started wondering where I’ll be in a thousand days, a thousand hours, a thousand minutes. And you know what I came up with?

It doesn’t matter.

It doesn’t matter where any one of us will be in a thousand years, or a thousand months, or a thousand weeks. Not even in a thousand minutes. Because all it takes to change the world is one second.

One second for a heart to stop beating.

One second for a car to cross the yellow line.

One second for a madman to pull the trigger.

One second . . . . and a life will never be the same.

Life is short. The ones we love can slip away from us in a second, and we realize too late that there were so many things we should have taken the time to say.  Words that could have been spoken in a matter of seconds.

I love you.

I’m sorry.

I forgive you.

I was wrong.

That little gold second hand on the clock keeps on ticking away the seconds while we spend our time focusing on the hour hand. My son is learning to tell time, so around here we talk a lot about the “big hand” and the “little hand” but no one ever mentions the second hand.


It never slows down or speeds up. The seconds just keep going by, one by one, and we never notice until they are gone. And no matter how much we may want them back, they are gone forever.

It only takes a few seconds to say words that can never be unsaid. A few seconds to tear a soul to shreds with bitter words, or maybe a few seconds to get news that turns a world upside-down.  To hear the words, “I’m afraid there’s nothing we can do,” or “I’m sorry, we did all we could.”

It only takes a second to think that all is lost, to believe there is no hope. It only takes a second to think you have only one option, one choice before you.

Life isn’t about where any of us will be in a thousand years, or a thousand days, or a thousand seconds. Life doesn’t have a destination; it’s not a race to get to wherever it is that we are going to be in a thousand anything.

What matters is what we do in the nine hundred and ninety-nine that come before.

This post has been part of Finish the Sentence Friday, with the sentence starter “In a thousand years from now. . . ” hosted by Kristi at Finding Ninee and co-hosted by Lizzie at Considerings and Dana at Kiss my List.

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Author: A.J. Goode

I am a romance novelist, single mother of three, and a high school lunchlady. To be completely honest, I have no idea which of those jobs is the most rewarding and which is the biggest challenge. I love them all. I write romance novels about the kind of people who might pass me on the street every day. My characters are often hurting in some way, and need to learn to trust others in order to heal themselves. I also blog about trying to focus on writing, and about my day-to-day experiences in small-town America. I write about life. The good, the bad, and the just plain odd.

13 thoughts on “999”

  1. I adore the way you used this prompt – all the talk about ‘it’s not the end result, it’s the journey’ is often hard to focus on, but you emphasise how easy it is to lose seconds by wishing them away or neglecting to focus on them, and you’re right – so much could happen to change lives in those seconds, if we just paid attention.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Sure made you write something awesome. It was a mood which achieved something good. I even borrowed your thought and thunk more on it… (I think you’ve seen that tho)


  2. Well said. What matters is what we do in the now, not what might or might not happen in posterity. I explored similar ideas in my post, but was focused on how we act in the now. It is true that terrible things can happen int he blink of an eye, but also wonderful things: realizing that you’re going to be a parent, hearing about a new professional opportunity, and hearing that magic words “I love you.” Great post!!!


    1. Thank you. I think so often about my car accident, when I saw the tree falling and had a split second to decide whether to slam on the brakes or hit the gas and try to make it through. I’ll never know if I made the right choice. Either way, everything changed in that one second with that one choice.


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