How much time do you have?

Today I pose a question I would like you to think about. How much time do you have? I don’t mean the twenty four hours a day, seven days a week, we all have. No, not 168 hours a week. I mean how much time do you really have? Such as, how much time of your life will be healthy, productive, enjoyable time. In that sense you have as much time as you get. The truth is, none of us know how much time we really have. You have right now and as much time as you get after that.

Some will answer the question and realize, they are already not healthy or can’t really get around the way they want anymore. An older person probably realizes their healthiest, most active years are gone.

When you are young you think you have lots of time. When you are healthy you take for granted you will always be healthy. It would benefit us all greatly to stop and think about the things we really want to do and the people we love the most and organize our lives and our time around them. We should focus on the activities and people that have the greatest impact and meaning on our life.

Live life. Do the things you want to do. Love the people you love. Go on adventures. See the world, do new things, become a better person. We need to love the ones we love, while we have them here to love and while we are here to love them. None of us will last forever.

I had a friend recently ask my advice about planning a vacation with his wife for his anniversary but he also wanted to take a hunting trip with his elderly father. This will be his 25th anniversary and he wants to do something nice but also is worried his father may not be able to go on a hunting trip much longer. My advice was “Take the trip with your wife” because I know she wants a nice vacation and they have not taken one in a long time. Then the second thing I said was “Can you do both if you really want to?” He said “yes” he could if he really wanted to and he also could afford it. I told him to try and do both but take care of the trip his wife wanted first. We discussed the fact that his wife is healthy and he is healthy and it won’t always be that way. He has taken a few hunting trips with his dad and not many special vacations with his wife. He texted me the other day and thanked me for the advice. He had booked a trip to Aruba that they are very excited about. He also told me plans are being made for a hunting trip with his dad. I am very happy he planned both trips and it appears it will all work out.

I have lived a very careful, overly frugal life. Sometimes not realizing time and opportunities were passing me by because I was too busy surviving to be thriving. Too concerned about all the planning and small things, worried about everything being “just right” to actually go forward with some plans. The results, very few extra special moments. I regret that. I am learning to change and trying to be more adventurous. I realize there will never be a “perfect time”, only the time I have.

My grandfather worked hard his whole life, always talking about taking a fly fishing trip to Alaska. The years went by, he never took the trip. His family had grown up, his mortgage was paid off and still he did not take the trip. Then after heart surgery, cancer surgery, sickness and being told to get his affairs in order, he decided to take the trip. Twenty years earlier It would have been “The trip of a lifetime” and a fantastic experience. Taking it twenty years too late was better than not taking it at all, but it was difficult and not very enjoyable.

We sometimes get stuck, focusing on what is right in front of us and forget to look up, look around, look at the beautiful horizon. Look up at the stars in the sky at night and see how big it is out there. The possibilities, the opportunities, waiting for us. I know I need to make better use of the time I have and work at organizing it and showing the people I love how much they mean to me. I need to do things for myself and others that mean something. I don’t want to wait and take the fishing trip when I am dying.

The old adage is “Send the flowers while they are still alive”. My mother is about to turn 82 and I have been trying to do just that for the last decade or more. She is having health issues and I don’t know how much longer she will be there to receive flowers. I know she smiles every time she gets them now.

Whatever amount of time you have is finite. You don’t have endless resources or time. You have many responsibilities and things pull you in many directions. Family commitments. Work. Hobbies. Prioritize what is important and do that first. I like shooting, I like reloading. I like getting to know other people who have those same interests. The last several years as my circle of friends has gotten wider I have seen many folks lose a loved one or go through a difficult time. I have learned a lot from these experiences. What does all this have to do with shooting and reloading? Not much. But it does have a lot to do with life.

You don’t know how much time you have. Make the most of every day. Enjoy every day. Prioritize things that are important to you and people that are important to you. Make the world a better place every day. Try to become a better person every day.

Hopefully when you are gone you will leave behind good memories for the people you loved and interacted with. Hopefully you helped and enriched others and made their lives better.

My father in law used to say “I wanna have some fun while I am here”. What he meant by that was, I have taken care of my responsibilities and now I want to take some time to do something fun. Whether it was going to the shooting range, sharing a meal with family and friends or taking a trip somewhere, he took time to go have fun sometimes. He was my shooting buddy for a few years and I have great memories from that. He always took care of the important things first, then went and had fun. Sometimes he probably could have spent more money on himself and had more leisure time if he really wanted to. I know he did enjoy the time he had.

Make what you do with your time worthwhile. Be sure it is worth the investment. Your time is the most valuable thing you possess. You never get it back. Cash it in and get something valuable for it.

Our time is a priceless gift. We need to live like it.

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