Monday, November 07, 2005

Make Your Life Count vs. Counting Your Life Away

The summer that I was twenty-one waiting to begin my first teaching job since graduating from college, I worked at a local K-Mart store. While I had worked in the past as a waitress, this was my first retail experience in a store working behind the register. It was a little stressful since over $100,000 crossed my register each week, and they regularly sent fake customers through the line to see how you were doing and to see if you caught one of them hiding jewelry in a winter coat pocket or some other little test. My supervisor was an attractive, petite woman a little over 60 years in age. She dressed very well, and I kept wondering why she worked there. I am now guessing her job was due to a divorce or sudden change in finances in her life. I remember her telling me that she was counting the days until she could retire. And then she wryly added, “This is kind of stupid, because my life is short enough, why do I want to wish part of it to go by faster?”

Driving down to the house the other day, my husband repeated one of his mantras…something like: “I don’t want to winterize the boat just yet; I’d like to squeeze in another outing before that. I only have 20 more years of this before I am too old to get out anymore.” This statement always takes me back, because I have no idea what he is picturing in his mind twenty years from now. I also find this kind of thinking very depressing. So, I don’t even go there. I just like to live each day as fully as I can…John Lennons “Life is what happens while you're busy making other plans.” approach is fine with me.

Last Saturday night at my daughter’s house my son actually showed up for dinner. We hadn’t seen him in weeks. He had another cold and was low in energy. I told him he should sleep in this coming Sunday and should have slept in on Saturday so that he could repair his health instead of ‘jamming’ all day with his band. (He works nights.) He looked at me and said, “I have 52 weekends and I am not giving up anyone of them!”

Well, I have to take the garbage to the apartment shoot. I am going to count the steps there and magically will that number to be the amount of millions I will win when I buy a lottery ticket this weekend which should help me extend my life.


  1. Your son's philosophy reminds me of the Australian workers' attitude to taking days off when they are ill. Rather than waste a day off when they are feeling sick, they turn up at work, and later take a 'sickie' on a day when they are well and can use it doing something enjoyable.

  2. No, the stress associated with having millions will shorten your life. And buying lottery tickets will only shorten your bank account. Buy beer and wine instead. If you don't like beer or wine, I have a mailing address for you.

  3. Mmmm! I agree; buy beer and wine.

  4. Anonymous1:04 PM

    Hi! I have seen you over at Robert's and I do not know what took me so long to stop by here. I am enjoying your posts, glad I am visiting.

    It could be a cultural conditioning, this thing with time, or a reflection of a type A personality thinking, or something else, that causes this hoarding of time, this feeling of a need not to 'waste time' or 'lose time'or 'waiting for tomorrow to get to the time I want to be in'. I suffered from this syndrome for many years until it came to me that I had alot more fun in my every day life when I began to act like I had all the time in the world, that the measurement of time is rather an illusionary concept, not grounded in any scientific truths.

  5. Thanks to Jude and dalene--now two more blogs to stop by and read!

  6. (quick mention - I love the photo of you in your comment thumbprint)

    Now ... I think Dalene has the right idea, though it will have to be practiced before I can take on that frame of mind. I'm so accustomed to counting things out in my head. I grinned to myself when I read about your husband's fishing comment. I said nearly the same thing to Ed not long ago about something else. His response was "Hey, speak for yourself if you want, but you're not putting me in the grave before I'm darned good and finished here."
    He's right. You and Dalene are right. And as to Jude's comment here, I must be part Aussie somehow
    because that is my thinking exactly (when it comes to calling out sick).

    Thanks for the most enjoyable posts ... takes me some time, but I love the catching up when I come here! You always make me think.


Take your time...take a deep breath...then hit me with your best shot.