No More Wasted Time

I turned 50 today. It’s quite surreal. Upon waking from a fitful sleep I realized my life is way more than half over. How much time do I have remaining: a day, a month, 40 years? On the one hand, I wish I knew exactly when my life would end, but on the other, what good would that information provide me?

It’s so easy to look back on my 50 years and identify all the time I’ve frittered away. Why did I make those choices? Did I think I was using my time wisely or did I simply not care or even acknowledge that question? When one goes through life, one doesn’t stop and ask themselves if what they are doing at that moment is worthwhile, or if one should be using that time in a different, more opportunistic, or fulfilling manner. I know I didn’t for a long time, but many years ago that changed for me. That was what my first short non-fiction book was all about. The Deathbed Mindset is what started me on my writing journey almost a decade ago. In it, I encouraged readers to ask themselves a simple question that would alert them to how they are spending their time. Alas, I have lost my way, it seems, for I’ve stopped following my own advice, and slipped into the terrible habit of finding the easy way out when spending my time. Spending your time in the most productive manner possible – and being aware of how you are choosing to spend that time – is taxing. Nay, it is exhausting. Too often I’ve found my lazy self taking the easy path and cluttering my time with zero-calorie activities: television, doomscrolling, not pursuing my goals, or just endlessly thinking about the future I want and not caring enough about enjoying the present.

I think that is one of my biggest problems: not enjoying my present enough. I don’t much care for the area we live in. The people are wonderful, truly hardworking folk who care about their neighbors, but the weather, lack of nearby cities and activities, and my ability to work from anywhere constantly lend my mind the ability to think about the future and what it will look like. Where could we live? What fun things can we do there? How do I want my future to look? All of that dreaming about the future is costing me the present.

The future will (if I don’t prematurely croak) eventually come; it cannot be stopped. But my mindset must change. No More Wasted Time. That is my new motto. Easier said than done, to be sure. But what other choice do we have but to adopt that strategy? If I don’t, time will continue to dwindle – my life along with it – along with my ability to use that remaining time in a fulfilling manner. Now, when I plan out my day after more future nights of fitful sleep, this motto must creep into my hazy mind.

No More Wasted Time.

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