The only thing I have left to spend is time.
"For the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: 'If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?' And whenever the answer has been 'No' for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something." ~ Steve Jobs
For most of my adult life, I've been intently focused on saving time. To be more efficient. To get more done. To pack more stuff into a day. This year, I turned 47. How that snuck up on me, I'm not quite sure. I can tell you, I seem to have saved a lot of time getting here. I've been saving it for something special I'm sure. I just checked the account though. There's nothing in there.
And it struck me, why save time if you can't spend it on the things you want?
Much of our existence is centered around getting things done. We've become chronic hamsters racing to get where we are going and never arriving. Saving time we can never spend. Investing in a future full of self delusion and uncertainty. And then we're done. We go out with a wimper, desperately trying to figure out where the time went, instead of yelling to anyone who will listen "wow, what a great life I got to experience, can you believe it?"
Money and time have a lot in common. They are powerful tools, often frittered away while no one is looking. They are finite and out of our control. They can be saved, but are more effective when invested. They are a job in and of themselves.
So I sat down, looked 47 squarely in the eye, and made some resolutions for this year.
1. Wake up every day and count one blessing that I've been given and not deserved. We always talk about how life is not fair, but how many times do we acknowledge the times when it is unfair to our advantage?
2. See and be a part of what is around me. It's so easy to skim over the surface of life. You stay cleaner, never have to get involved. You also miss out on connection with the world. You miss the energy of fresh air, the feel of fresh cold water flowing over your tongue, and the reaction the church bells get when they ring at 5 am. You absorb nothing and in doing so, you miss everything.
3. Invest my time in my actual priorities. To slow down a little bit. To live God, Family, Work instead of taking about it but living the other way around.
This year, year 47, I am going to focus on really using my time instead of saving it. Using it well. Living a life. Spending my time not waiting for someday when I can spend the time I'm saving. If all goes well, I will face 48 a lot happier and a whole lot less exhausted. I have the feeling this is the start of something good.
And if not, I'll just open another account and start over--at exactly the same place I left off.