Saturday, July 22, 2023

Time: You Don’t Know How Much You Have So Use It Wisely

Scott D. Parker

The text arrived on Monday night: I’ve got some bad news.

Turned out, a good friend from my undergrad years, a guy only a year older than my fifty-four years, passed away. His name was John and his smile lit up several rooms. So did his laugh. We were in Longhorn Band together and he was drum major two of my five years. He expected all of us to maintain a high standard, a standard he modeled, so if there was ever any doubt about how to march and perform, just try to be like John.

The news came as a shock to everyone that knew John: how could such a vibrant, energetic guy just die? The answer is unknowable but what got me was his age. Only a year older than I am. Mid-fifties used to seem old, but then you get here and it doesn’t feel old at all. It got me to thinking about life and the things I still want to do.

Cut to Season 2 of “The Bear.” As our main characters prepare to open a restaurant, each of them takes a little sidetrack to learn something they need to know. I won’t spoil which character but one of them meets a fellow chef played by Olivia Coleman. She’s peeling mushrooms and they start talking. Part of what they talk about is what got them in the kitchen in a professional capacity. Olivia tells our guy that she came to the job late in life but found herself loving the second phase of her life and career. She summed up her new philosophy by the plaque hanging in her kitchen: Every second counts.

Every second counts. That might be too small of a time span to really amount to anything, but minute or hour or day might be better.

It’s the same sentiment in the Tim McGraw song “Live Like You’re Dying.”

Time. Sweet time. We don’t how or when our time will come, but come it will.

News like I got this week shocks you and gives you an opportunity to assess your life. Are you doing the thing you want to do? Are you doing the creative thing you’ve always told yourself you want to do but just haven’t carved out the time for it? Is there a book in you that you’ve always wanted to write?

Then start. Don’t waste your time. Because every hour counts.

1 comment:

E. Ellis said...

I am 58 and I can't believe how my thinking has changed in just the last few years. At some point, one's perspective on all things starts to change; sometimes it starts in a flash and sometimes in tiny almost imperceptible fragments. But it changes and just like it has hit you - you finally realize time is finite in a more major way. To me, though, one difficult thing that comes along with it is so hard not to "waste" time. It is hard to always be what one feels is being productive.

However, someone did just post a meme - I think the quote came from Kurt Vonnegut - with a caption something like, time is not wasted if you enjoyed wasting that time.