The Funny Thing About Time

timeAs we head into the summer, I can’t help but recall being a child.

It took years to get through the last nice days of the school year. And then freedom!

Somehow the period between June and September was one endless stream of sunshine. The moment we’d been waiting for the entire time we were fourth graders seemed to spread out for ages.

There were countless popsicles and sprinklers. Slip and slides. Bike rides.

Now, at 31, I can get a bit of a sunburn one day and be looking for my ski coat seemingly three weeks later.

 

The Funny Thing About Time

It occurred to me the other day that right now, at my age, there are more work years left in me than the total number of years I’ve lived up to this point.

What are we doing with our time?

If we spend our work days counting the hours until five, or counting the hours until Friday at five, what then are we looking forward to?

Are we heading full speed into our demise?

There has to be a better way!

Since all of us under the age of 35 (and let’s be honest, most of us past 35, too!) have more time left in the workforce than we’ve had on this earth, we should make the time mean something.

It’s easy to focus on the details of personal finance. Easy to parse things into percentage points. How much interest? How much risk?

Those are the questions we ask when we don’t really want to ask the hard questions.

 

Make it Count

If you hate your job, find something you love. If you can’t find something you love, find something you could be really good at, then do that. If you find yourself thinking, “only 38 more working hours until Friday afternoon,” at 10am on a Monday, you have to make a change.

No matter what you think, you’re never too young to start fresh.

Change directions if you don’t like where you’re going.

Remember that you have only a short time left on the planet, and you better make that time count for something.

Goodness gracious, if we don’t, then we lay on our deathbeds thinking, “well, at least I paid off my highest interest debt first.”

 

There’s More to Life than Money

Money, or lack thereof, sometimes feels like the end goal. We delay our happiness until we reach an arbitrary goal. “I’m miserable now,” we tell ourselves, “but when I make $125,000, I’ll be happy.”

But that can’t be true. If money could buy happiness, there would be no miserable people in Hollywood.

So make your days count. Find your happy. Tell your friends and family how much you love them. And by golly, don’t settle for anyone or anything that makes you less than the happiest dang version of yourself.

You can’t chase happiness, but you can find ways to make your life more meaningful.

But I know this much. You, whoever you are, are far too young to settle for an unhappy life.

Be careful who you marry, and be careful you don’t marry your job.

Do you live to work or work to live?

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Comments

  1. says

    I’ve always gravitated toward companies and positions within those companies where I can succeed and thrive, but where it doesn’t consume my life. I enjoy a work/life balance and I know that I’ve probably sacrificied some money over the years by not being overly aggressive, but I’m fine with that since I know that I have also gotten to enjoy many things and experiences that I would have otherwise missed had I let work take over my life.

  2. says

    Like money, time is a commodity that comes in limited supply. We only have a certain amount of it each day. I’m trying to use mine on what counts…my family and building into other people’s lives. I think those two things bring a joy and contentment that no amount of money can touch.

  3. says

    Can you say yes to both? I enjoy working and look forward to it. It is the consequence of liking what you do for work. It is not perfect and I enjoy my time off too. As a teacher, I have summers off and in many cases, it is too long. It is one of the reasons, I used to teach summer school. Budget cuts reduced summer school to core subjects.

  4. says

    I definitely don’t love my job all of the time, but I see it as a stepping stone to my dream job. I’m really hoping that the things I’m learning and the experience I’m gaining will one day land me a job at an amazing company. Here’s hoping!

  5. says

    Right now I work way, way too much but that’s because I’m doing a 9-5 and working close to 30 hours a week on my blog. I want to go full time blogger on January 1, so right now, it’s worth it to me to hustle, but I’m looking forward to having just one job very much!!

  6. says

    I loved summers as a kid, heck I still love them now I just don’t get 3 months off to do what I want. I actually really like my job if there would be a schedule for it. When you get a phone call to go to work and don’t know if you’ll be there for 1 week or 1 month it’s a big drain. That’s my only complaint about it really. How many other jobs can you work on your blog while on the clock?

  7. says

    It would be work to live for me. I’m going on a month or so hike at the beginning of next month. That should make my summer feel a little longer.

  8. says

    As we grow old, our priorities change. We have a lot of things to worry about, mortgage, rent, home expenses, and more mortgage. But it between, there should be something for ourselves as well. Just like you said, make it count because there’s more to life than money. And that is so true.

  9. says

    Make it count, absolutely. If most of our life is spent working, might as well enjoy it. Plus, one often be more successful financially if the work is truly enjoyable and aligned with interests. Of course, I’d like to get to a point of not having to work at some point in the future, so making it count also means saving and putting away money for the future.

  10. says

    Time is funny. I miss having summers off but I don’t miss being in school. :) I try to keep myself busy in my free time so I don’t feel that I’m wasting time. I try to take Friday’s off though as I’m usually exhausted by then.

  11. says

    This is great advice. I find myself, all too often, concentrating on money and forgetting that we only have so much time. I hate when people say that there isn’t enough time in the day or that they wish they had more time. We all get the same amount of time in each day, you just have to use it wisely.

  12. says

    I genuinely like my job but that doesn’t mean I wish I could work less. Once we become (non-mortgage) debt free I plan on cutting back to 2-3days per week so I can concentrate on our family.

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