The Longest Shortest Time


When you find yourself in the middle of adversity, it can be hard to see the finish line. When you get past it, it often feels like it went by fast – some sort of combination of hindsight and resilience. That makes me wonder how this perspective can help us overcome and wade through tough waters.

When I first heard the name of the podcast, “The Longest Shortest Time,” it resonated with me. I started reflecting on when my daughter was recovering from knee surgery and contracted viral meningitis. When I was in the thick of it, a reprieve for my daughter (and for her anxious mother) couldn’t come fast enough. It was only when the situation passed that I was able to look back on those days with clarity.

“Being in the middle of hard times, James Clear says, feels achingly slow. We feel like things take forever and time is at a standstill. The days feel long, but when we reflect, the time has flown by.”

It’s like living through a cold, tumultuous winter that feels like it will never end. But, like it always does, spring comes, the flowers bloom, and winter is forgotten. It’s comforting to remember we always make it through.

Emotions are powerful and it can be difficult to take a step back from your feelings when you’re in the thick of hard times. The idea of The Longest Shortest Time is a comforting reminder. It helps us shift our perspective so we can begin to trust the process during those moments.

When you undergo transitions in life, try to visualize how you’ll feel in the future. When your children go off to college or your career is shifting, it’s easy to put your blinders on and get stuck in those spaces. When we experience loss in our life, it can feel like we are drained and helpless with no end in sight. Time and perspective are two powerful healers. Eventually, the stinging pain will lessen, and we can begin to reflect on the situation with fresh eyes. Sometimes we have to have faith and lean on our support system through these moments. What are some strategies you employed during the most difficult times in your life?

Maybe it’s talking every day with family, going out for breaks to clear your mind, or doing something that sparks joy. Perspective often only comes after we make it through adversity. However, keeping this in mind can help you approach scenarios with a different outlook. It won’t always be easy in the moment, but reminding ourselves of this can offer solace to keep moving forward.

What have you learned from the longest shortest times in your life?