Monday, January 25, 2010

Remembering my Time is Precious

Recent events have caused me to reflect on how precious is the time that I have. First, time is a resource that we can't get back. Once it passes, I cannot get it is forever gone. Second, I will never know how much time I have left, although I plan to be around for a while. Therefore, I want to make sure that I get the most out of the time that I have. Here are some of my thoughts:

  • Spend time with those important to me. Most of my 20s through 40s was spent with people in my outer circle, e.g. colleagues, service providers, and acquaintances. I spent a relatively small fraction of time with family, since I was single until my late 30s and lived away from my hometown. Even after getting married, I initially still spent a significant amount of time devoted to my career.

    Then in 2006, my father passed away. Until my dad became ill, I never consciously considered that my parents would be gone someday. And then he was no longer there. It's been four years and I still miss him very much. I wish I had spent more of my 20s through 40s being with him.

    I decided to consciously spend more time with my inner circle, e.g. family and close friends. In 2007, I took early retirement. I now spend the majority of time with my inner circle, and a relative small fraction with my outer circle.

  • Make the moments count. It's not enough to spend time together. I want the activities to be exciting and fun. I want everyone to be present and engaged. Just having a family in front of a TV doesn't count.

    We've started to develop a set of engaging family activities, including annual vacations, game time, reading time, learning activities, and outdoor entertainment (e.g. fire pits, sports, and riding bikes).

  • Have no regrets. When I look back, I don't want to regret the time I spent or the time I missed. On my deathbed, I know I won't say, "I wish I had spent more time working." Also, I don't want to say, "I wish I had done more of _______." Of course, this requires planning which isn't one of my strengths. I probably should start with a list of 20 things I'd like to do :-)
  • Although I will make a little less, I have cut back on my hours for my main seasonal part-time job. I am working 33% less hours than last year, and about 50% less hours than my first year after early retirement. As a result, I will have more time with family, doing fun activities and with no regrets.

    For more on Strategies and Plans, check back every Monday for a new segment.
    Photo Credit:, Michael Connors

    This is not financial or personal development advice. Please consult a professional advisor.

    Copyright © 2010 Achievement Catalyst, LLC

    1 comment:

    Daddy Paul said...

    "Just having a family in front of a TV doesn't count."
    That is particularly true when you are half sleeping. Life is too short!