Don’t mark time, waste time or kill time. You’ll never get it back.
My husband asked me the other day if I was killing time, because I didn’t have any current work projects. I was a little bit horrified at the thought. After all, time is a non-renewable resource.
It’s an old adage, but it’s still true — life can be very short. We only each have so many days here on earth. And none of us know how many days those are. At the end of each day, we have one less day until…the end. One less day.
And so, with those unknown numbered precious days, it becomes very important that at the end of each day we know — I know — that the day wasn’t wasted.
Wasted through boredom.
Wasted through indifference.
Wasted by complaining about things that are trivial in the grand scheme of things.
Wasted by being angry.
Wasted by wanting what I do not or cannot have or create.
Wasted by failing to pay attention to and enjoy every moment.
So I’ve made a vow to myself — that is admittedly sometimes difficult to keep, because I am human — that at the end of each day I will be able to honestly say:
“Today was a good day; I lived in the moment.”
“Today was a full day, a productive day, a day that was satisfying.”
“Today I made a contribution.”
“Today I made a difference.”
“Today was worth leaving behind.”
If I keep these mantras in my head, they help me be aware of how I’m spending my time each day, because I don’t want to get to the end of the day and not be able to say they are true.
Bringing value to each day doesn’t mean accomplishing great and heroic things. And it doesn’t mean that the value needs to be recognized by others. It just means that at the end of the day you can feel good about how you spent that day, and then let it go. It’s a personal thing.
That being said, here are five simple things anyone can do each day to add a little value:
1. Do something nice for someone else. Even the simplest things can matter a lot to another person (like holding a door open or letting someone through in traffic). And they feel good to you too.
2. Stimulate your senses. Tune in to sights, smells, sounds, taste, touch — it’s cliché, but stop and smell the roses.
3. Be creative. If you’re musical, play music. If you draw, do a simple sketch. Just take time to tap your creativity.
4. Indulge in something that enriches your mind. Read a book. Work on a puzzle. Share your thoughts on a forum. (Turn off the TV.)
5. Get some exercise. Even ten minutes of walking or stretching is rejuvenating and helps ground you in the present.
Enjoy your days. Don’t waste them. They’re all you have.
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