Years ago, I discovered a blog post titled “The Tail End” from “Wait But Why” by Tim Urban.
It visually lays out the remaining experiences of a 34 year old assuming they live to the age of 90. It has diagrams for how many winters remain or pizzas will be eaten, that sort of thing.
What really tugged on my attention was the number of days he assumed he had left with his parents compared to what he “used up” in childhood.
My children were young when I first read this blog post.
I remember thinking there are only so many days I have with them when they’re young. That close proximity will likely drop quickly as they become young adults, especially if we end up living in different cities, states, or countries.
It shifted something in me, that post with those colorful charts.
I decided I didn’t want to spend my days with my children running unnecessary errands or doing social things to make other people happy.
As a single parent, I have half of each year with them while they’re children, so my days mattered more to me than when I had them with me every day.
My little family grew closer when I started to be radically honest about how we were spending our precious, non-refundable days.
We spend more down time now, just relaxing together.
While we can.
In general, I am very dialed into how I spend my time.
And the older I get – and the less time I get in general – the less tolerance I have for this:
I absolutely won’t attend anything unless I feel genuinely like it’s the absolute best choice for my time.
Even when someone else might think that I should do something to meet their expectations of me.
I don’t know how much time I have left.
So I don’t mess around with the time that I do have.
This doesn’t mean that I’m uber-productive. Being “productive” in the eyes of others may not be how I value my own time.
How much time do you have?
You never really know. Neither do I.
What. A. Gift.
It’s a gift really, to know our days are literally expiring one by one by one by one…until there are none.
As you step into this new year, you may encounter a bounty of options, things to experience and people to spend time with.
You are responsible for how you spend your time.
I find that the more I love how I choose to spend my time…the more I tell myself how responsible I am for my choices…the more roomy each minute seems to feel. Which essentially gives me more time, or at least my time feels better.
Happy New Year. May you fill your calendar with the most precious experiences.
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