The last paragraph in The Thief of Always is an apt summary of the lessons the protagonist, Harvey, learns over the course of the story:
“Time would be precious from now on. It would tick by, of course, as it always had, but Harvey was determined he wouldn’t waste it with sighs and complaints. He’d fill every moment with the seasons he’d found in his heart: hopes like birds on a spring branch; happiness like a warm summer sun; magic like the rising mists of autumn. And best of all, love; love enough for a thousand Christmases.”
Time is, indeed, precious. Most of us don’t realize just how precious until we’re staring death in the eye or watching a loved one or friend in that staring match. It would be wonderful if we were all fabulously wealthy and didn’t need to work to pay bills so we could follow the “live like you were dying” and “live each day as if it were your last” types of advice. What we can do, though, is take Harvey’s final thought to heart and love…ourselves, our friends, our families. Our mortal time is fleeting. Let them know you think about them and that you love them, for we rarely know which words will be the last they hear from us and which deed will be the last the remember of us.