Life isn't too short


Sometimes I need a reminder to be an active participant in my life. I need to recognize that I have "agency" or power to act in my environment. I make choices, assign priorities, and give space to the things that matter or don't.

If I'm lacking time, I can only blame myself.

My best "reminder to reset" comes when I reread Seneca's beautiful essay On the Shortness of Life.  Among the many thoughts which smack me upside the head, this paragraph is particularly stunning:

"It is not that we have a short space of time, but that we waste much of it.

Life is long enough, and it has been given in sufficiently generous measure to allow the accomplishment of the very greatest things if the whole of it is well invested.

But when it is squandered in luxury and carelessness, when it is devoted to no good end, forced at last by the ultimate necessity we perceive that it has passed away before we were aware that it was passing.

So it is—the life we receive is not short, but we make it so, nor do we have any lack of it, but are wasteful of it."

Did you catch all that?

Read it again, slowly this time.

Now ask yourself if you're squandering any of your day in luxury and carelessness? Are there parts of your day spent "to no good end"? Where do you waste time?

Do you putter away your days worried about things you can't change? Do you waste energy being fearful?

Or, most important, do you live life with purpose and intentionality?

How can you know what matters?

A calendar and financial statement are accurate gauges. The scale may be helpful. An assessment of what you think about most is another leading indicator.

When you feel pressed for time, pay attention to the waste.