This little bit of wisdom comes from a recent post to the blog Jack’s Winning Words – “Waste of time is the most extravagant of all expenses.” (Theophrastus)
It would follow then that the gift of your time to someone else would be the most extravagant gift that one could give.
It is not unusual for older people (especially dads) to look back over their lives and regret not having spent more time with their children when they were young and at home. Too many dads see in hindsight that the long hours at work that they put in, trying to earn more for their family, were also missed opportunities to spend time with the children when they were growing up.
Missed ball games, or dance recitals, or school plays were precious moments that cannot be made up later. Whatever the extra money bought is long gone, along with those opportunities to be there as they grew. It gets worse for two-earner families where both parents miss all of the events of childhood.
Many adult children also have regrets about not visiting more often with parents, or other family members, before they were gone. You hear it all the time, “I wish I had the opportunity to tell him/her that I loved them before they passed.” You did have that time, but you chose to spend it elsewhere.
So, consider those things before you waste that most precious of all commodities in your life – your time. Is there someone that you can give that time to by spending it with them? Is putting in that extra time at work really more important than seeing that ball game or attending that recital? Is working on your home projects to-do list more important than stopping by to see how mom and dad are doing, or maybe just giving them a call to chat. And, is collapsing in your chair with that after work beer really as important as taking time to talk with your spouse about how their day was?
Memories in life are not filled with the recollections of possessions that you managed to accumulate; memories are made up of snippets of time, some happy, some sad; but all well spent and mostly spent on and with others.
The bottom line is that all you really have is your time. Don’t waste it; but, rather, spend it wisely on and with those that you love. Be there for the game. Be there for the dance recital. Be there at the end of the day to talk with your spouse. Don’t just do it – just be there – give the gift of your time.
In his post, Jack referenced the famous Jim Croce song “Time in a Bottle”. Listen to it and consider this –
How will you spend your time today?