We currently live in Texas. We were recently visited by Harvey. Harvey was horrible. Lives were lost and people’s worlds were turned upside-down. Life won’t be the same for so many people.
We were lucky this time around, didn’t flood, didn’t have too much water damage and our close family and friends are all safe and alive.
But I have experienced loss. Great loss of my belongings by no fault of my own. Years ago, after Hurricane Ike, my house was broken into. Thieves decided that they needed my things more than I did. OK. Soon after that, an in-law decided that selling the home my family lived in, with all of our belongings still inside, was in her best interest. Even if it was only 2 weeks since my husband had died. OK.
Each time, I mourned the stuff, sad I lost this or that, angry that I had to re-buy all of these things. But what I failed to lament was the time I had used to earn the money that bought these things.
How many hours did I work to buy that TV? How much time away from my family did I have to take in order to buy that fancy couch?
When all’s said and done, things are just that, things. If a weekend of storms, a quick moving fire, or selfish thieves can take your possessions away in a moment, what are you left with?
Memories. Memories of time with your family and friends. Memories and experiences are all you have Memories of that summer vacation, the game night, trips to the zoo, parties with friends. Memories of spending time with the people you care about.
If you are rebuilding your life after a great loss, like Harvey, or rebuilding your life differently like us, I encourage you to take a look at HOW you are rebuilding your life.
Look at each item you have to throw away or have lost. Think about your your time like the money you spent, everyday you get 24 time dollars.
How many of those dollars did you spend to purchase that? When that thing can be taken away so quickly, was it really worth the time dollars you spent on it?
Could you have worked a part time job, bought a smaller house, or drove a used car, if that meant you would have more time playing with your family, having dinners in that home, or traveling in that car? When you look back on your life, will you say “I had great stuff”, or “I had great experiences”?
Believe me, your children will be upset when their favorite toy is lost to the raging waters, but they would be more upset if you were not around. Life is too short to spend your time not making memories.
**If you would like some numbers, here you go. The average lifespan of an American is currently 78.74 years. That is 689,762.4 hours. If you sleep 7 hours a night, that is 201180.7 hours lost for sleep. For a remainder of 488581.7 hours. If you work 60 hours a week (4105.7286 weeks = 246343.716 hours worked), that leaves you with 242237.984 hours available in your lifetime to make memories. Wait, I didn’t account for a commute to work, hours in the bathroom, hours at doctors appointments, waiting in lines, watching GOT or running errands. With all of that figured in, you may get 100,000 hours, in your ENTIRE lifetime to make memories.**
Written by Lena