There’s a last time for everything

Especially when it comes to flying kites… 🤓

Oscar Petrov
6 min readJun 27, 2021

We’ve all heard of the catchphrase — “there’s a first time for everything in life.” But how often do we think about the fact that there’s also a last time for everything? We all die one day. There will exist a last time that we do anything in life. This realization may spark frustration and anguish within you, though it may also encourage you to cherish experiences more. I hope you lean towards the latter.

Take a moment to think back to yourself: when was the last time you flew a kite? Was it last weekend, a few months ago? Or, maybe it’s been years. Maybe you haven’t flown a kite since your childhood. If you’ve never flown a kite before, try and think about something you did do, like rode a bike. Or played a game of tag. Think about the last time that you gave your brother or sister a hug, or your mom or dad…

See if you can take your mind back to the moment when you engaged in that experience, if the memory remains with you. Take yourself back to that familiar place, and ask yourself this: Did you know that that moment would be the last time you would experience that sensation? That this much time would have elapsed to ultimately bring you to this moment, right here and right now. The hug with a loved one, or that childhood memory that seems like it was forever ago, or that barbeque with dad.

Chances suggest you still have quite a way to go before you too leave the Earth. However, this is not the case for everyone. Perhaps it is a result of an unexpected cancer diagnosis, or aging, but it is the unfortunate truth that many people worldwide are doing things as if it will indeed be their last time. It is this realization which might make those experiences all the more worth living, worth cherishing more, for you never know when your day will come.

In Sam Harris’ “Waking Up” app, professor and Stoic philosopher, William Irvine, guides listeners through a meditation known as The Last Time Meditation, where he talks about the nostalgia of remembering the things we once had but no longer have. Of thinking back to moments that seemed to go by all too quickly for us, felt timeless experientially, but bounded in actuality. We have all come to understand the swift nature of life which stops for no one, and of the psychological arrow of time which urges us all forward in life.

Irvine goes further to explain that humans are naturally caught up in a life presuming that there will always be a next time. This in turn might result in a sacrifice of attention, ultimately causing us to take the moments we experience for granted. The reason for this inclination is multifold. One reason is that we as humans might just be really bad at discounting our futures — i.e., we assume there will always be a later upon which we can prioritize our efforts and thus not adjust ourselves to make the most out of the experience we are in. Another reason is that humans may subconsciously be undergoing a coping mechanism in which we tend to reject the thought that we, too, will eventually be victims of mortality. In other words, we may be tending to put our mortality off to the side as a “later” thing when in actuality we have no control.

In his mediation, Irvine explains a concept known as a Last Time Reset, which ultimately emphasizes the idea that you can reset the clock by which you haven’t engaged with a certain experience. In the context of not having flown a kite in a long time, activating a Last Time Reset means that the next time you fly a kite, you do it with the sole intention of treasuring the experience, as if it’d be your last. The next time you lick a cone of ice cream and the chocolate accidentally begins to drip on your brand-new, white t-shirt, you might think to yourself: When’s the last time I allowed my ice cream to drip off the cone and fall onto my t-shirt? 😉 Though it may appear unsightly, or uncomfortable, the goal of activating a Last Time Reset is to consider a level of intentionality behind certain actions, for you’ll never know when it might be your last. Of course, Last Time Reset’s are not restricted to what may often be connotated as a negative experience (though they don’t have to be so 😦). They may also involve, going to the movie theaters with a friend (been a while, hasn’t it?), or playing Super Smash Bros with your little (or older) brother. While you might not be able to bring something, or someone, back, you are still able to cherish that which you do still have, for there’ll come a time when that too will perish.

By imagining that the moment you engage in will actually be the last time you have that experience, regardless of whether you know it or not, you may naturally generate a whole new experience from the moment. This applies not just in kite-flying contexts, but all contexts. Whether it’s eating chocolate, or even a coconut-flavored macaron; or watching a football game with your son; or getting together with those buddies that seem like could never go their separate ways…

The next time you engage in a moment, however intimate it may seem, and with whoever it’s with, think to yourself: what would you do if that were the last time you ever got to engage in that experience? What would you regret not having done if the moment comes that it’s too late? For there comes a time when suddenly even our own time starts to slip away, our light fades, and aging isn’t always the cultprit.

About the author

Hi, I’m Oscar Petrov and I’m currently attempting to make the most of my life at this very moment. :-)

If you found this article particularly valuable and/or decide to give it a try, I’d love to hear about your experience :). Feel free to shoot me an email at!

Bonus Content

For the interested doer, I’ve attached an easy-to-follow, six-step guide on where to get started with flying a kite. Now’s a chance to get around to that thing that you’ve been planning out for awhile but haven’t made the plans yet. What’s stopping you after all?

Easy-to-follow six-step guide to fly a kite!

  1. Go to Amazon and buy a kite for $10–30.
  2. Carve out time this weekend on a windy day to go to the beach, or a park where you can find a nice, open space to fly your kite (you should never fly a kite over someone’s head because kite’s are known to dive straight down under certain windy conditions, or non-windy conditions. Flying a kite near the water also risks getting your kite wet, though it depends on the size of the beach).
  3. Assemble your kite when you are in the desired location and hold onto the string tightly by the special handle.
  4. When ready, and given enough wind, gently glide your kite into the air, or seek help from a friend to do so, because you may need to focus on managing the kite by the string while it is in the air.
  5. Allow your handle to naturally untangle itself as the kite rises into the air. If necessary, give the kite an upward pull by yanking the handle upwards and backwards so as to create tension in the string. You want to maintain a tension among the kite, but not so much tension such that you are limiting.
  6. If the string loosens because the wind is settling and causing the kite to drift downward, feel free to run a little in the opposite direction, carrying the kite with you, in order to maintain a tension in the string and get the kite to catch on with the wind. Trial and error will no doubt be a part of the kite flying experience.




Oscar Petrov

A curious manifestation of billions of exploding neurons. I like to think about brains + the universe. Also passionate about ethics, philosophy + human rights.