Father Time and Baby New Year – images that represent the mantra of “out with the old in with the new.” This got me thinking about Time and how we’ve spent it in the past, how we spend it now and how we plan to spend it in the future.
Did you know that the average person, in an average lifetime, spends 25 years sleeping and over 10 years at work, not to mention 9 years watching TV, over 4 years in a car, and at least 11 hours a day in front of something electronic! (according to Distractify)
After reading the list above I realized how much time we spend doing things, some necessary and some very trivial. I don’t believe that a woman spending 17 years of her life trying to lose weight is productive and spending 90 percent of our time indoors is healthy. It raises the question, what do we want to do with the time we have left in life?
How we spend our time and how we want to spend our time differs tremendously. How many of us would love to move our desk outside on a beautiful day? How many of you would like to take a “kid free vacation” (or just a “kid free day”) without judgment or guilt? I gave each of my children two hooky days every school year to take whenever they wanted. Some days you just need to check out!
I spend a lot of time working or thinking about work, the rest of my time is spent worrying about my kids and praying they are happy and safe. I’m not one to spend much time on worrying about what others think of me, but I know other people are consumed with that feeling and spend most of their days trying to impress. Social media certainly hasn’t helped; it’s actually increased our anxiety about who we are, what we wear, what we look like and what we do. We have basically become controlled by it.
I wish I spent more time in a gym, on walks, doing more community service, meeting new people and creating new connections. The reality is that I have not figured out how to do it all, so I end up doing the same thing day in and day out. This year I plan on making appointments to do these things and actually add them to my to-do list and calendar. They should be as important as my day-to-day responsibilities.
Many of you know how I feel about New Year’s resolutions – I don’t believe in them! This is about my time and how fast it is going as I age. I’ve been putting a lot of thought into how I want to spend the time I have left. That may sound depressing but think about it, another year has already gone by – in a flash – and I could have accomplished so much more than I did- wasted opportunities. I’ve realized that my time is precious, if only to me, and I don’t want to waste any of it. There are too many things I want to do and places I want to see, and getting older really magnifies the urgency in me.
What about you? How do you spend most of your days? Are you even aware of what you do with your time? I have a simple challenge for you: buy a pocket calendar at Staples and every day, for one week, write down your exact activities throughout the day. At the end of the week, calculate how much time you actually spent doing something you enjoy (not things you think you should enjoy like working out – unless you are one of those people). How much time did you spend thinking about what you wanted to do but it never went past a thought?
How much time do you spend working? On your phone or computer? Watching TV? Eating? How much time do you spend Happy? Frustrated? Sad? Alone? Lonely? How much “enjoyable” time with kids? Husband? Friends? How much time do you spend in peace?
As I write this blog, my head is swimming with things that I want to do. I know that I am limited by my health at times – Lyme disease has robbed me of my short term memory so things like reading a book (that was my most favorite pastime) have now become a chore. It has also robbed me of my energy and after traveling I need a little more time to recover than most people. I am limited in my travel because I still have a family to think of at home and a Foundation that depends on me, so my month “Under the Tuscan Sun” may have to wait a while. But this year I plan on making the moments I can get out there count.
2016 was a year of goodbyes to so many, some were young some old but all had one thing in common – they were out of time. Make every moment count and remember that a long life is not guaranteed but you have the power to make the life you are given a full and brilliant one.