“Do the choices we make about how we spend our time keep us in touch with what we believe in, and what is real in our own lives?” ~Harry Reid, retiring Senator from Nevada
Today I read Senator Reid’s farewell published in the New York Times.Though most of his letter addresses the 100 Senators who will be in session come January 2017, this statement about how we spend our time applies to all of us. It’s something I am deeply considering as we round the corner on the new year. It’s something that will cause me to make some big changes in the coming year because ultimately how we spend our days is how we spend our lives. Moments add up to hours to days to months to years. I don’t want to waste any of mine in any way—not for comfort, ease, or the sake of a paycheck. It has never been easier in the history of the world for us to do incredible things that help build a world that we’re proud to call home. And if I’m not spending my days aspiring to that, then I am wasting my time. So onward and upward with a full and purposeful heart.
(And one comment on Harry Reid’s letter: he will be leaving the Senate for the final time when this new administration flips and that departure seems tinged with a mixture of relief and grief that he’s going. He never envisioned Donald Trump as President, particularly since Trump lost the popular vote by almost 3 million votes. (A new record!) I’m grateful for his service and admire his example of how to make a difficult system simpler, more efficient, and more effective. It’s not an easy thing to do, and he should be celebrated for his role in moving closer to a Washington that works.)
Yesterday I came across Erma Bombeck’s essay entitled, “If I Had My Life to Live Over”. I’ve decided to take her advice. I hope you will, too.
“Someone asked me the other day if I had my life to live over would I change anything.
My answer was no, but then I thought about it and changed my mind.
If I had my life to live over again I would have waxed less and listened more.
Instead of wishing away nine months of pregnancy and complaining about the shadow over my feet, I’d have cherished every minute of it and realized that the wonderment growing inside me was to be my only chance in life to assist God in a miracle.
I would never have insisted the car windows be rolled up on a summer day because my hair had just been teased and sprayed.
I would have invited friends over to dinner even if the carpet was stained and the sofa faded.
I would have eaten popcorn in the “good” living room and worried less about the dirt when you lit the fireplace.
I would have taken the time to listen to my grandfather ramble about his youth.
I would have burnt the pink candle that was sculptured like a rose before it melted while being stored.
I would have sat cross-legged on the lawn with my children and never worried about grass stains.
I would have cried and laughed less while watching television … and more while watching real life.
I would have shared more of the responsibility carried by my husband which I took for granted.
I would have eaten less cottage cheese and more ice cream.
I would have gone to bed when I was sick, instead of pretending the Earth would go into a holding pattern if I weren’t there for a day.
I would never have bought ANYTHING just because it was practical/wouldn’t show soil/ guaranteed to last a lifetime.
When my child kissed me impetuously, I would never have said, “Later. Now, go get washed up for dinner.”
There would have been more I love yous … more I’m sorrys … more I’m listenings … but mostly, given another shot at life, I would seize every minute of it … look at it and really see it … try it on … live it … exhaust it … and never give that minute back until there was nothing left of it.”