I spent this weekend thinking a lot about time; time spent, time wasted, time used, and I believe these are all different. I spent 2 days last week wasting time being angry, and that’s what got me thinking. I knew it was a waste of time while I was doing it, but I just couldn’t let go. That time is gone and I can never get it back.
I didn’t like feeling angry, and I know the effects were felt by the people in my life. Someone affected me, I affected others… this means many people wasted time on this one thing, this one person. For 2 days I slept like garbage, and I ate like garbage. (I know I am an emotional eater. Emotions are delicious!)
I went out to the lake this weekend, and in the silence and peacefulness I realized that waste of time. Our drive up to the lake on Saturday was hectic, but I didn’t even notice as I was so caught up in my unhappiness. As we got off the highway, I felt the anger start to slip away. It is a country road, just dirt, and everyone who drives by waves at you. If you are paying attention, you will often see deer and antelope as well. I love this drive. We went ice fishing, as we do most weekends, and as the sun came up over the hill and shone down on us and warmed the air, all my remaining anger slipped away. It didn’t matter that it was cold and the wind was gusting up to about 20 MPH. Sunday we went up again, a beautiful morning, and decided to go early fishing again, because we caught most of our fish the day before in the early hours. When we got to the lake, the wind was blowing constantly at about 20 MPH and gusting up to about 30 MPH. It was cold and we only caught 5 fish total for the day (we often catch 5 per hour), but it didn’t matter. We were on the lake!
I think about this and about the time: what would have been miserable to someone else was a wonderful day for me. What would have been wasted time for someone else was a day on the lake. These days were not wasted, instead it was a time used wisely to do something that made my soul happy. This was a time spent with people who added value to my life.
This is not to say every moment of your life has to be filled with something that someone else sees value in. Sometimes a day on the couch relaxing, watching movies and napping is exactly what you need to re-charge, and it serves a purpose. This is not to say you shouldn’t be mad or angry or sad: you can and you should. These are valuable emotions, but you shouldn’t live in these emotions, and you should never allow these emotions to take hold enough to affect others.
If you think only large pieces of unused or wasted time matter, imagine this:
There is a bank account which credits your account each morning with $86,400, carries over no balance from day to day, and every evening cancels whatever part of the amount you failed to use during the day.
What would you do? Draw out every cent, of course!
Well, everyone has such a bank. Its name is time. Every morning, it credits you with 86,400 seconds. Every night it writes off, as lost, whatever of this you failed to invest with a purpose. It carries over no balance. It allows no overdraft.
Each days it opens a new account for you. Each night it burns the records of the day. If you fail to use the day’s deposit, the loss is yours.
There is no going back. There is no drawing against tomorrow. You must live in the present on today’s deposits. Invest it so as to get from it the utmost in health, happiness and success!
The clock is running…
If you want a little more understanding of how precious time is consider this:
- To realize the value of ONE YEAR, ask a student who failed a grade.
- To realize the value of ONE MONTH, ask a mother who gave birth to a premature baby.
- To realize the value of ONE WEEK, ask the editor of a weekly newspaper.
- To realize the value of ONE HOUR, ask a person in a hospital waiting room who is waiting to hear about a loved one.
- To realize the value of ONE MINUTE, ask a person who just missed their flight.
- To realize the value of ONE SECOND, ask the person who narrowly avoided an accident.
- To realize the value of ONE MILLISECOND, ask the Olympian who won silver.
So try your hardest to remember that each day IS a gift. That is why they call it the present!
So for the 2 days I spent angry, I did not use the entire day’s credit, because I did not see past my own anger and frustration. I could not see the beauty in those days, in just having those days. I forgot to remember each day is a gift.