I began reading “On The Shortness of Life” by: Seneca the past couple of days because of well the pandemic and the growing number of deaths around the world. It immediately began to strike many chords within me. Aware now that the secret to a full life is being aware of how one might choose to spend his/her time on a daily basis. Fully knowing that our time is not promised, and will eventually…run out.
“Those who forget the past, neglect the present, and fear for the future have a life that is very brief and troubled; when they have reached the end of it, the poor wretches perceive too late that for such a long while they have been busied in doing nothing.“~Seneca, “On The Shortness of Life”
The recent changes that most everyone have been forced to make to their own routine has brought about some very pertinent questions in me, one being… Am I spending my time wisely? One might think that we should have more TIME to get everything accomplished. Here is the kicker, there are still only 24 hours in a day. How am I spending my 24 hours? Have I been busied in doing nothing?
I do have a little bit of a routine in how I like to spend my time. I know now that I enjoy waking slowly. I may have always known this, as I have never liked the sound of a blaring alarm. I then like to make my way to the kitchen for my morning must-have, my coffee. Then I will proceed in taking care of everyone’s breakfast as they wake up, one by one. I used to worry about many other things, but everything that I have been worried with lately has been based mostly on our internal needs. Health being the top priority. Growing knowledge coming in a close second. I took a moment to analyze how I choose to spend my time. This is what I came up with, my Weekly TIME BUDGET…
Why do we think we have all the time in the world? At what point does this lie get planted into our minds? The time we have been given, is all that we will ever have. There is no way to store up more time for later. There is no way to earn more time. It’s not like we can do things on “time credit” that concept will never exist. We only have what we have, and instead of treating TIME like it’s our most valuable asset that we will ever have any control over, we ignore our authority over it. The authority we have over it, has it’s limitations. It is limited to how one chooses to spend their OWN time, and once that time has been spent, it can’t be returned. Seneca suggested that the only way to add time to your life is to learn from those that have already lived. “They annex every age to their own; all the years that have gone before them are an addition to their store.” ~Seneca To take their knowledge and add it to ours. How does one do this? READ, READ, READ!
Choosing to learn from those that have already lived, will also teach you how to let go of your obsession with things that aren’t necessary. We become obsessed with being distracted. “They strive for something else to occupy them, and all the intervening time is irksome.”~ Seneca. We need distractions, without them, we complain of being bored. I hear it daily from my kids. They need a distraction almost every waking moment. I am actually bothered by how much they need this. Look at your life now, how much of it is spent on distraction? How much of it is spent on something useful and productive? What is your definition of useful or productive? Some people define productivity, by the amount of money made. As a teacher, I define productivity by a couple of things… was something learned, did someone grow?
We can learn from our past, and from the past of others. Those that do not take account of the past, have no concept of time and therefore will not feel like they have lived long no matter how long they may have actually lived. It’s almost like running a race. If you know you must run a certain distance before reaching the finish line, but you have no clue at what point you started the race. You will not know how close the finish line is to you until you have crossed the finish line. By then its too late to say you didn’t know, we are all running the race.
This lie robs us of actions that we believe we’ll have time to do later, the things that mean something to us now should be our focus. The truth is, the only time any of us have is now. The trick to leading a full life with a reign on time is knowing that TIME can’t be stopped, but the authority of how your life is spent is up to YOU.
Good luck and GODSPEED! We must put down the distractions. Society can’t keep putting things off.
I have been reading “On The Shortness of Life” Seneca on the app, Scribd