75 Septembers.

Posted by admin on November 14, 2016 in Life Lessons |

I used to waste a lot of time. I mean, really waste it. After all, back when I was in my 20s, I had a lot of time to kill. Time seemed infinite back then, so I would mire myself in wishes without making them so, drama that had no possible resolution, inexcusable errors of judgment that sent me back into the dark ages a time or two, and dead-end relationships which never held the promise of ever leading anywhere.

I can wish all I want to have that time back. But, as we all know, wishing doesn’t make it so and there’s no way to turn back the clock to even capture a second, let alone a minute or two of it.

This isn’t, of course, some insipid tome about regret. I only have one regret as we all know, and while it sucked eight years of my life away, it was something I had to go through in order to pull my head out of my ass and realize that the grass is never greener on the other side.

As of late, however, I have been noticing that time is now limited. Somewhere in my 40s I passed the halfway mark of a normal lifespan, and I am now cascading down the slippery slope of the other side of the bell curve that marks one’s life. I mean, even if I make it to, say, 85, that’s only 27 years from now.

That seems like a long time still, but when you break it down, it’s not.

There’s a song by Cheryl Wheeler called 75 Septembers that puts it all perspective. It’s all about how you only get ‘X’ of any particular day in your life, the ‘X’ being the years you are here. Have a listen.

Think about that for a moment. If you live to be 75, you get 75 Septembers. Put another way, you get 75 Christmases or any other date on the calendar. That’s it. 75.

So, using that logic, I have only 17of any particular day left if I make it to 75, 22 if I hit 80 and 27 if I manage to hit 85.

One could argue that that is indeed a long time. But as those of us who have hit their 50s know all too well, time plays that funny tricks on you where it speeds up, or at least, appears to speed up.

For example, it seems like only yesterday that I came back to Seattle. But it’s been 4 1/2 years already. My how time flies.

So, what’s the point of all this? Well, there’s no magic message to give you. It’s just a realization that time is damned shorter than you think it is and there’s really no time to do anything that doesn’t bring you happiness and joy.

Indulging in the bullshit of a presidential election that by any measure is nuts or spending time pleasing others as you become more miserable about doing so, is pointless. We only have so much time on this rock and it’s fleeting at best.

My brother only got 24 Septembers. My father, 56. I’m blessed to still be here, chalking up more Septembers on the calendar than they got to. But still, I know that the numbers game is running against me, which makes it more imperative with each passing moment that I make the most of every day, week, month and year, as I only have ‘X’ of them left.

It’s funny when this hits you. As I said, I used to spend a lot of time doing things that didn’t really jazz me. At times I did things just to please others, like period camping or letting a nut-job, suicidal exhibitionist stay in my house. And then there were those times when I let the drama of others become my drama, taking in their wayward souls in some useless and certainly pointless attempt to fix them.

God, speaking of a waste of time. If only I had the perspective I have now. I wouldn’t have wasted a minute on any of it because it was all bullshit. Hell, most of the time I didn’t even get a thank you for taking the time, my time, to reach out and help.

Lessons learned, I guess. Which leads me to the real lesson here. Your time is extremely valuable. You can use it wisely or you can fritter it away on distractions and dead ends. You can spend it all hating your neighbors or an entire race. You can fret about national politics or the fact that your job sucks.

It’s all for naught in the end. It’s all a waste of time.

It reminds me of the five things people who are dying say they regret towards the end. We should tack these up on our refrigerators to remind us of what is truly important about the time we have left here.

The Five Things People Who Are Dying Say They Regret:

  • I wish I’d have the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.
  • I wish I hadn’t worked so hard.
  • I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.
  • I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.
  • I wish that I had let myself be happier.

Powerful stuff. I can safely say that I am doing a lot better than I used to in making sure none of these are my regrets when it comes time to check out. I admit that in my younger days (which ended last week, by the way), I indulged in several of these. I have withheld my true feelings, lived a life others wanted me to live and sacrificed happiness for what I falsely thought was the greater good.

Yes, there are still few more things on the workbench, but I have begun to work on them too. With another September recently come and gone, I want to make sure that I make the next one a doozy. Time really is fleeting, and it’s a waste of time to waste the time on things that don’t add up to a hill of beans in the end.

Lessons learned…

In the Emerald City, making a list and checking it twice,

  • Robb

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