Life is a characteristic that distinguishes objects that have signaling and self-sustaining processes from those that do not, either because such functions have ceased (death), or else because they lack such functions and are classified as inanimate.
Life is a piece of toast: You can make it however you please, but any way you make it...that s**t's gone before you know what happened. Consumed in the blink of an eye. That's why you have to savor your toast while you have it; there isn't time to make another piece before you go.
that short span of time between conception and death; where we spend all of our times accumulating everything from knowledge to wealth to friendships to experiences, we search for meaning, then we grow old and frail and slowly lose all that we've accumulated, and die.