One minute too late

With all that is happening in my world, I have been pondering some really important things in my life and my lifestyle lately.  Those concerns are why I started this blog.  Sort of a self-therapy if you want to think of it like that.

Last year, I had the extreme honor of being with my youngest son as he played his senior year of high school football.

Man!  What a season it was too.  He and his teammates set a school record with only one loss and made it to the playoffs.  He played in every game.  I could not have been any more proud than seeing him do what he loved; setting his mind to it as his single most important focus and with such love and drive.   That’s what sports is all about!!

It was that time with my son that really made me start thinking.  What has my life amounted to?  What have I done in my life that I really wanted to do?  Sure I’ve done some pretty cool things in my life.  Heck, I’ve been to 88 countries on this big blue marble called Earth.  I have over 4.2 million air miles in my travels.  I’ve started and sold businesses.  I’ve served as a full time missionary living in Guatemala.  I’m a pretty damn good computer programmer.  I’m married to the best wife a guy could ever want and what’s better… she’s hot!  😉

But the type of thinking I’ve been doing is of having a purpose rather than just existing. Setting goals with definitive dates has become paramount.  Afterall, a goal without a date is just a dream.  Other thoughts center around relationships built up daily and with no expectations attached.  I long for the simple life without the chaos of the world being allowed to bring everything to a boil all the time.  Basically I am trying to create a drama free life where I get to do the things I want to do.

This morning I had a real awakening to a couple things.  My wife wasn’t feeling like she had a good night’s sleep so I told her to get back into bed and shut out the world for a bit.  She argued saying she had some apples she wanted to can, and some cast iron skillet she wanted to season.  Her list of stuff she had to do today was basically just a bunch of stuff to fill her day with activity.

I insisted and she got back into bed.  She slept until almost 11:30am.  Bless her heart!  She deserved it.  She works so hard at taking care of me and making this house a home for the two of us.

Her feeling the “need” to do those tasks got my thoughts flowing in high gear today.  My thoughts centered around “Why does any of that stuff have to be done today?”  Why are we pushing so hard?  Why do so many people create so much stress in their lives?  What’s the point?

I am re-reading a book that I’ve read about a dozen times, “The Four-Hour Work Week” by Timothy Ferris.  Don’t let the name fool you, it’s a great book and has very little to do with working only four hours per week.

One of the things the author says in that book is to only try to accomplish three things per day.  Anything else is next to impossible and really exhausts the average person.

He’s right!  I’ve been tracking my time in the notebook and I have proven he is right!

When I try to do more, I get frustrated.  I get less done or at the very least, I feel so exhausted I can’t even enjoy the success of getting more done.   The people that are the most important to me have suffered because of my pushing so hard.  My mother says I’m a workaholic.

Yesterday I spent all of the day with my wife attending a festival on the Arkansas border with Missouri.  The festival was about self-sufficiency and the lifestyle that she and I have been living for several years.  The festival was very small and did little for our knowledge growth so we went to a bunch of flea markets and just relaxed as we spent the day together until late into the night.

That time with her… that’s the important stuff!  That time with my son during his football season as well as my most recent visit with him for his birthday earlier this month, that’s what life is all about.

These are two of the four most important people in my life (I have two other sons). I should be spending more time with each of them!

I am reminded of something my grandfather once told me, “You don’t get to pick when your kids see the time as quality time.  So just be sure to spend a big quantity of time and let them pick the quality out of that time.”  I paraphrased, but you get the gist… spend more time with those you love.

Tonight I sat down to finish a long overdue project that I have been working on for nearly a full year.  I needed some really upbeat music to get me going.  My son (the football star) gave me the cd “Awake” by Skillet when I was in Texas during the football season last year.

It touched me greatly that he gave me the CD.  He and I have always enjoyed music together and had a lot of fun putting together playlists on my ipod over the years.  It’s funny, most of our playlists always included Jethro Tull’s “Locomotive Breath” but that’s a different story.

Tonight one of my all time favorite songs (One Day Too Late) played and it brought a tear to my eye as I thought about my life, my sons and my wife.  The song speaks to me.  I guess it really always has.   I just never knew how so.

Below are the lyrics and a link to hear the song.  As you listen to it, see if you can’t help but think about those things you are making a priority and which things and PEOPLE are suffering because of it.

To my sons (Sean, Marc and Forrest) and my wife (Ranae)…

Tick tock, hear the clock countdown
Wish the minute hand could be rewound
So much to do and so much I need to say
Will tomorrow be too late?

Feel the moment slip into the past
Like sand through an hourglass
In the madness, I guess, I just forget
To do all the things I said

Time passes by, never thought I’d wind up
One step behind, now I’ve made my mind up

Today, I’m gonna try a little harder
Gonna make every minute last longer
Gonna learn to forgive and forget
‘Cause we don’t have long, gonna make the most of it

Today, I’m gonna love my enemies
Reach out to somebody who needs me
Make a change, make the world a better place
‘Cause tomorrow could be one day too late
One day too late, one day too late

Tick tock, hear my life pass by
I can’t erase and I can’t rewind
Of all the things I regret the most I do
Wish I’d spent more time with you

Here’s my chance for a new beginning
I saved the best for a better ending
In the end I’ll make it up to you
You’ll see, you’ll get the very best of me

Time passes by, never thought I’d wind up
One step behind, now I’ve made my mind up

Today, I’m gonna try a little harder
Gonna make every minute last longer
Gonna learn to forgive and forget
‘Cause we don’t have long, gonna make the most of it

Today, I’m gonna love my enemies
Reach out to somebody who needs me
Make a change, make the world a better place
‘Cause tomorrow could be one day too late

Your time is running out
You’re never gonna get it back
So make the most of every moment
Stop saving the best for last

Today, I’m gonna try a little harder
Gonna make every minute last longer
Gonna learn to forgive and forget
‘Cause we don’t have long, gonna make the most of it

Today, I’m gonna love my enemies
Reach out to somebody who needs me
Make a change, make the world a better place
‘Cause tomorrow could be one day too late

One day too late, one day too late
One day too late, one day too late

Comments

comments

7 thoughts on “One minute too late

  1. I couldn’t agree with your sentiment more, and I also could not agree more with the lyrics of the song. Another great song on that CD is “Would it Matter” – and hopefully it would.

    Along with the Four Hour Work Week, I highly suggest everyone read a book called Ishmael: A journey of the mind and spirit – by Daniel Quinn.

  2. Thanks for the note son. I am looking forward to reading that book. We should try to get together somewhere and tip a few and discuss it. 😉 I love that song too!
    Love you, Dad

  3. I have really been enjoying your posts, Vern. Very thought provoking. I too would like to get back to a ‘simpler’ life. I am gathering my thoughts, praying and seeking the Lord’s guidance on this as well as many other things in my life.

    While I do agree with your stance on change, to a certain degree, what about change that comes about that we do not ‘welcome’ in our lives?? I mean the gut wrenching, pain invoking kind of change, that comes around whether we really want it or not?? I am sure this is just part of life’s ‘current’. The ebb and flow of life’s cycles, and while it does happen to nearly everyone, embracing it and welcoming it is almost impossible at times.

    Myself, as well as many others out there have experienced this kind of change at least once in our lives. Thus, I guess this kind of goes along with your sentiments and thoughts about what is really important in life. I did not welcome the end of my marriage. In fact I have fought, cried, begged, pleaded, and fell apart many more times than not over this ‘unwelcome’ life event. Yet the other day, I had a real epiphany…I thank God for those. I realized while I have been mourning and grieving all of this ‘loss’, it has indeed brought about some very welcome change for me. I am no longer the person I once was, she is gone forever, but I am somehow ‘changed’ for the better. I am still learning and still do not quite have a full grasp on this whole ideal, but reading God’s word, and praying for guidance and wisdom has been very helpful to me. My eyes have been opened to a lot of things that I was closed to before. I realized that I should not be mourning and grieving, but instead I should be REJOICING and thanking God that I am being awakened to HIM. Like I said, I have a very long ways to go, but with His help, I will get there.

    So, I guess this goes along with your writing in regards to what is ‘important’ in life. We need to slow down long enough to grasp this and keep our eyes and hearts open to these things. Time passes by very quickly, and getting back to the ‘basics’ is a very good start. God Bless you my friend…may you know all the JOY and LOVE in life that you can possibly imagine. Please keep the posts coming, I really enjoy reading them. Definitely things to ponder. 🙂

  4. Oh believe me… I’ve had that type of change in my life too. PLENTY!

    I will save the boring details, but basically it’s the relationships with those around you that get a person through those tough times. In my case, the physical care given to me by my wonderful bride after my accident got me through one of the toughest times in my life. I wouldn’t be walking if it weren’t for her and I doubt I would even still be alive had it not been for her wonderful caretaking of my physical needs when I couldn’t do for myself what I had always been able to.

    I have lost many dear people. The most recent of which was my cousin. She was like a sister to me when we were kids. The pain of her no longer being here was rocking to my very core to say the least.

    There were many other trials and tribulations in my life. I face them daily just like anyone else. I just face them differently now. I ask myself a question every time I am about to do something (anything)…. “Does this move me closer to the goal?” If the answer is “No” then I no longer feel compelled to do it.

    Unfortunately (or fortunately depending on your thinking) this mindset has severed relationships with people I once valued in my life.

    I guess what I am saying… I value my goals more than I value some people now. Keep in mind those goals include, among other things, better relationships with FOUR (precisely FOUR) people… my three sons and my wife.

  5. The other day at our twice-weekly breakfast club, a dear friend (whom I have grown very fond of by the way!) said she read this post and had to wipe away a tear after reading it.

    I just re-read it and then listened to the song that my son, Marc, had posted also. It made me cry like a baby.

    This is beyond a doubt my favorite post I have ever written.

    I love my wife and my sons more than life itself! I am a blessed man!!

    Praise be to God!

  6. Beautifully written. As I’m moving through this life, I’m struck with the same thoughts if what is important. I fought until I had no fight left to save my marriage. But some fights aren’t meant to be fought alone. I’m learning how important my partner, my next husband, my second chance at life … It’s so important to realize priorities and goals … Thanks for your post. You know I love y’all tons … Kiss that lovely on the cheek for me!! 😉

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