Photographer Unknown To Me
The purpose of this article is not to get all weepy and sloppy or down and negative but rather to encourage people to understand that they have been presented a gift and with each new day they will be presented another gift called ‘TIME’. It will last exactly 24 hours and not any longer. And it is an finite resource meaning that we only have so many ‘new’ days to receive it before it no longer graces us. Each day that goes by is a day we will never experience again. Some will be gifted with 30 years some will have, perhaps, 80 years to share and experience our humanity. There is no way, really, of knowing who will get what or for how long and there is no chance of creating more time. One of the great tragedies in human development is that young people, meaning little ones to those in their mid to late 30’s, don’t understand the importance and the value of ‘time’. This fact helps explain why some people try to relive their 20’s–they just refuse to grow up. We even have a name for this time frame–we call it ‘our mid-life crisis’.
Time is the ultimate gift and yet few give it much thought. We get so caught up with facing the world with all its complexities that we offer little thought about how each day will never come again and that we need to live life to its fullest every day doing what we enjoy doing. Most of us just assume that the next day will continue to appear-forever. They are wrong.
I remember when I was a little guy and I would look at my parents and my grand parents and say or think:’I will never be as old as my parents and certainly not as old as my grand parents. 40 was old and such a long ways away. Younger kids are often heard to say they can’t wait to get older so that they could do ‘older things’ like drive a car or go to the pub to drink and party. However, the older we get the more important time becomes and the faster it goes by. There is an inner sense that makes us aware that ‘time’ is growing shorter. There is just no way to slow down the passing of time. There is a panic of sorts that sets in and an urgency to do as much as you can before you can’t. When nearing retirement what near senior hasn’t said if only they could have known at 40 what they know now how different their life would have been. Some lessons are only taught by time and this is one of them.
So how can we manage our time differently. To assume that ‘we will have plenty of time afterward’–when we retire that is– is playing a fools game. What has to happen for us to get more from the time we have been given? One thing we can do is downsize–learn to live on less. If we can do this then we can quit working earlier and enjoy more. Many are beginning to do just that. As has been said:’You can’t take it with you’ so why not enjoy the fruits of your labour while you can appreciate the gift of time. I believe this process starts with introspection. We need to start asking ourselves some questions about how we have managed our lives to date and are we doing what we want to be doing or do we feel as though we are just hanging on for our very lives.
I have come to understand that there are two things that will suck the life out of us if we let them and by doing so will they will ‘steal’ our time. One of those is plotting our revenge to demonstrate what? Too many people don’t understand that to hang onto plotting revenge is to allow the ‘other guy’ to win. You are spending time thinking about someone other than yourself and the likelihood is that they don’t even care. The other thing is not allowing ourselves to forgive. That can mean forgiving ourselves for something we have done or something that someone else has done. Forgiveness means that I will no longer allow guilt, shame or anger power over me. I choose to forgive-not for ‘them’ but for me. It helps me to regain my control over my emotional stability. I become free again.
Other things to consider:
1. Do I live to work or work to live?
2. Do I (we) really need the secondary income to make ends meet or do we do it so we can have more toys?
3. What is the cost attached to chasing more money especially if more money isn’t necessary to maintain a particular standard of living?
4. Do my or have my relationships with family and children suffered because of my decision to chase more money?
5. Given that money can provide comfort to some degree does it buy me happiness?
6. How much money is enough?
7. If you could retire right now what would you really enjoy doing?
8. If you could go back in time and make some other decisions what would you do/decide differently?
9. What is one thing that you could begin to do now that would provide you with more happiness or contentment?
10.Is it true for you that time is going by much more quickly now that you are getting older? (The older you get the faster it goes)
Too of us many live in the future–the I wish place. In doing so we forget how important it is to live in the present. If you have things you want to do–get them done. Life is to be experienced not endured. It’s a matter of perspective. Are you in charge of your life and if the answer is ‘yes’ then what is stopping you from having or experiencing some of the things that you want to do. If the answer is ‘no’ then what is it you need to do to change that? If you truly believe that you have all the time in the world to do whatever you want to do then you are destined to be very disappointed with the choices you made when your time comes. “Time stops for no man” is a valuable saying. True happiness is directly related to how you choose to spend your time. Spend it wisely.
Anyways, that’s how I see it.
All the best, Jim
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